Kerala mulling complete lockdown in dists with severe spread;

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37,199 cases reported Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 30 (PTI): With Kerala recording 37,199 COVID-19 cases on Friday, pushing the total caseload to 15.71 lakh and active cases to over three lakh, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government may have to consider imposing complete lockdown in districts reporting high cases.

'In districts where severe spread of the infection is reported, we may have to think of imposing a complete lockdown,' he told reporters here.

However, a decision has not yet been taken on which districts would be imposed, he said.

As many as 17,500 people have been cured of the virus, taking the total recoveries so far to 12,61,901.

Presently, 3,03,733 people are undergoing treatment for the infection in various districtsand the total cases have touched 15,71,183, Vijayan said.

Three districts accounted for over 4,000 cases- Kozhikode (4915), Ernakulam (4642), Thrissur (4281), while Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram accounted for over 3000 cases each.

In the last 24 hours ending 2 pm, 1,49,487 samples were tested, taking the total to 1,57,99,524.

The Test Positivity Rate stood at 24.88 per cent.

The toll has mounted to 5,308 with 49 deaths.

Of the positive cases, 113 are health workers, 330 came from outside Kerala and 34,587 were infected through contact.

Vijayan said the weekend restrictions would continue on Saturdays and Sundays and more stringent curbs would come into force from May 4- May 9.

With the state assembly election results to be out on May2, victory celebrations would not be held, he said.

The government has also decided that 50 per cent of beds available in government,private, cooperative and ESI hospitals would be set apart exclusively to treat Covid patients.

To contain the spread of the virus, all activities other than those related to counting arrangements, essentialand emergency servicesare prohibited on May1 and May 2, a Government Order stated.

All state and central government officesand their autonomousbodies, corporationsdealing with emergency and essential services, including those relating to COVID-19 management duties, can function.

Other departments should work with only essential staff.

Movement of Medical Oxygen should be facilitated by all agencies, it said.

Employees and vehicles of Telecom Service providers, Infrastructure Providers, Petronet and LPG units are essential services and would be allowed movement on producing valid ID cards issued by their respectiveinstitutions, the order said.

Even as the state government is working to enhance the capacity to generate Liquid MedicalOxygen in the state,it has requested ISRO to provide 10 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen per week to Kerala from its Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri from the first week of May tourgently augment the existing capacity Only neighbourhood shops dealing withmedicines, newspapers, food, groceries and milk booths would be allowed to function till 9 pm, and only parcels and takeaways would be allowed in restaurants, the G.O. stated.

Fifty people will be allowed to attend marriage functions and 20 for funerals, it said, adding that movement of long distance bus services,trains and air travel will be permitted.

Migrant workers will continue to work wherever they are following COVID protocol.

Movement of house helps and caregivers for old age people will be permitted.

In the last 24 hours, cases were registered against 21,628 people for not wearing masks and 10,695 were booked for not maintaining social distancing norms. PTI UDAPR ADMINISTRATOR UDAPR ADMINISTRATOR