Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

No complete lockdown in Kerala for now, says CM Pinarayi

As of Friday, the state has a total 9,371 COVID-19 patients who are availing treatment.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday clarified that a complete lockdown will not be imposed in the state for now. The decision was taken following the all-party meeting held earlier in the day. 

“Health experts were equally divided on the opinion of imposing a total lockdown. In the all-party meeting held to discuss the COVID-19 situation, a majority of the members had also opined against total lockdown. Moreover, on Friday, we have seen that the number of positive cases have come down, compared to the past two days, where more than 1,000 cases were reported. So at present there is no need to impose total lockdown,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.

He also said that in the all-party meeting, it was decided to make measures more stringent in areas where COVID clusters have been reported.

On Friday, 885 people tested positive for coronavirus. And for the first time in many days, the number of people recovering from the disease in a day is more than the number of people daily found to have tested positive in a day. On Friday, 968 people recovered from the disease. This has taken the total number of patients under treatment in the state to 9,371.

The state also reported deaths of four people who were found to have COVID-19, taking the total death count in the state to 55.

Thiruvananthapuram district has the highest number of people who tested positive for the day and recovered on the day. While 167 tested positive, 101 people in Thiruvananthapuram tested negative. 

‘Kerala stands third in testing’

In a rebuttal to criticism that Kerala is conducting fewer tests, Chief Minister Pinarayi said that the state stands third in number of tests conducted. 

“Initially, the state’s daily testing was below 100, but as cases increased, it was increased to even 25,000. Including routine sampling, airport surveillance, pool sentinel, TrueNat, antigen, etc., a total of 6,35,272 samples have been sent for testing. Analysing as per the scientific method of test per million by case per million, Kerala stands third in the country in tests. Meanwhile, the test positivity (percentage of people found to be positive for the total number of tests held) of the state is 2.6. The World Health Organisation has said that the situation is under control if this rate is below 5,” Pinarayi Vijayan said. 

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister added that the situation in Thiruvananthapuram continues to remain serious. The district has five large COVID-19 clusters — Poonthura, Puluvila, Puthukurichi, Anchutheng and Beemapalli —  and transmission of the virus is now found to have started in the local bodies located near the five clusters.

The News Minute