Kerala has extended lockdown in the state till June 9, with certain relaxations. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on May 29 said that though the test positivity rate in the state has come down, Kerala is not yet ready to remove restrictions. When the lockdown which was supposed to be till May 30 was extended for 10 more days, certain relaxations were announced.
From May 31, all industries are allowed to reopen with working staff being not more than 50% of the total number of employees. Industries or shops that provide raw materials to manufacturers are allowed to open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This includes packaging industries too. Banks are allowed to open three days a week – the same as now – but will be allowed to function till 5 pm in the evening from May 31. Shops that provide supplements for students, textiles, jewelleries and sell shoes are allowed to open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Parcel service in toddy shops is allowed. Waste storage and collection centres will be allowed to open for two days in a week. Recurring deposit collection agents can step out to pay the money they collected in post offices. People who are waiting to join Public Service Commission jobs, after receiving offer letters, are allowed to join in respective offices if they are opened from May 31.
"Intention of the lockdown was to bring down the number of active cases below 2.5 lakhs. Through this, we were able to manage the spike in active cases so that there was no shortage of medical facilities," Chief Minister told the media in Thiruvananthapuram. The Chief Minister said that lockdown can be relaxed only if occupancy of ICU beds in hospitals is below 60%, the average test positivity rate for three days is below 15%, the number of new patients is less and if the recovery rate is continuously high for seven days. "As of now 70% of the ICU beds in government hospitals are occupied. Three days average test positivity is 18%. So, we cannot relax the lockdown," he said.
Kerala has reported 23,513 novel coronavirus cases have been reported on May 29, and 198 COVID-19 deaths. Total positivity rate has been below 20% in Kerala for the last three days, and 2,33,034 patients are currently under treatment in the state.