Kerala Lockdown: India has crossed the grim milestone of 2 lakh Covid deaths
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday announced a statewide lockdown from May 8-16 to fight the surge in coronavirus cases.
Currently, night curfew is enforced from 9 pm to 5 am, with semi-lockdown-like curbs during weekends.
"The entire state of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6 am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong second wave of COVID-19," Mr Vijayan said in a tweet.
A day earlier, the Chief Minister had highlighted the "serious situation of COVID" in the state and indicated the possibility of a lockdown, adding the "situation calls for imposing more restrictions in the state".
Most states have taken to partial lockdowns or containment measures to fight the deadly sweep of the second wave of infections.
Yesterday, the centre's top scientific adviser warned about the "inevitable" third wave of coronavirus, adding that vaccines will need to be "updated" to deal with the new strains that have overwhelmed hospitals and left thousands dead.
On the question of nationwide lockdown, NITI Aayog member and chief of the national expert group on vaccines VK Paul said, "...If anything more is required those options are always being discussed. There's already a guideline to states to impose restrictions to suppress chain of transmission."
India has crossed the grim milestone of 2 lakh Covid deaths.
In his address to the nation last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi likened the second surge of coronavirus to a storm and urged state governments to use lockdowns as an absolute last resort. He stressed on micro containment measures and Covid-appropriate behaviour to beat the virus.
Kerala reported an all-time high in daily COVID-19 cases with 41,953 infections, pushing the caseload to 17,43,932, the state health department said on Thursday. There was a slight dip in the positivity rate - the percentage of Covid tests that turn out to be positive - which stood at 25.69 per cent.
Mr Vijayan had said on Tuesday that the cases could soar further due to the high test positivity rate in the state.