Kerala mulling lockdown in districts with high COVID-19 case count

Though a decision on the list of districts has not been made, the lockdown will likely come into effect on May 4, the CM said.
Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference with a mic in front of him
Pinarayi Vijayan at a press conference with a mic in front of him
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With the daily COVID-19 case count in Kerala touching new highs and the total number of active cases reaching 3,03,733 on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the time has come for districts with a high number of cases to be placed under lockdown, with effect from May 4.

"At the moment, no decision has been made as to which of the districts would come under lockdown. This would be decided at the appropriate time. The Chief Secretary will come out with the details about it. As and when it would be decided, in these locked down districts, only the most needed government service offices will be open. Banking should be best done online," he said.

"Public transport will be banned. Hotels should do only home delivery. Religious institutions should see that they should be strictly restricted and big institutions can see a maximum of 50 people. Marriages should see only just 50 guests while funerals should not have more than 20 people," Vijayan added. On Friday, 37,199 people tested positive after 1,49,487 samples were tested in the past 24 hours and 17,500 people turned negative.

Of the state's 14 districts, Ernakulam district has the highest number of positive patients with 49,857 active cases, followed by Kozhikode with 43,166, Malappuram with 34,897, Thrissur with 31,706, Thiruvananthapuram with 24,919 and Wayanad district had the least with 9,320 cases.

Vijayan said migrant workers can remain where they are and can do their work and police officials have been asked to monitor their camps. He said that another Rs 66 lakh has been collected by way of fines levied from over 32,000 cases registered for not wearing masks and breaking social distancing norms.

Across the state, 6,43,529 people are under observation at various places which included 23,826 people in various hospitals and there were 624 hotspots in the state.

With regards to the shortage of vaccines being experienced, Vijayan said that the state government has no role in it.

"We can only distribute the vaccine, when we get it as we have no access to it. This sort of differential pricing is surprising, when the tradition has been vaccines in the country have always been given for free," he said.

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