Kerala has extended the COVID-19 lockdown by a week till May 23, with four districts to be put under a "triple lockdown" with more stringent restrictions than the other 10. These districts are Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Ernakulam, and Malappuram.
The lockdown, imposed following a dramatic rise in the number of infections in the state in recent weeks, began on May 8 and was initially scheduled to end on the 16th of the month.
The state today reported 34,694 fresh Covid cases and 93 deaths related to the disease, according to data provided by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today. The number of infections reported today is, however, much less than yesterday's nearly 40,000, even as testing has also declined in the past 24 hours.
Lockdown is extended till 23 May.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 14, 2021
Triple lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram.
Free food kits in June too.
₹823.23Cr will be distributed as Welfare Pensions in May.
Financial assistance of ₹1,000 for all members of Welfare Boards.
Mr Vijayan said vaccinations for the 18-45 age group will begin in the state from Monday, May 17. Registrations for this category will begin tomorrow. Its first batch of Covishield vaccines, ordered directly from the company, arrived last Monday in Kochi.
"The month of May will be decisive for Kerala," he said referring to the state's battle against the pandemic. Apart from the recent spike in infections, the state will in the next few weeks bear the fill might of the annual monsoon, raising fears of floods and other natural disasters.
In the past few years, the state has witnessed frequent flooding, putting the state's resources and infrastructure under immense pressure. With a pandemic raging, it can ill-afford to face another disaster.
Already, a number of districts in northern Kerala -- Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasargod -- have been placed on a red alert for tomorrow, expecting heavy rainfall. Rapid response teams and those of the National Disaster Response Force have been positioned across the state.
Meanwhile, the state had already set apart up to 50 per cent of its private hospital beds for Covid care.