Community transmission of coronavirus is taking place in a few coastal areas of Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday as he announced lockdown in the affected regions. He, however, said the state government is equipped to handle the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases and there is no need for a comprehensive shut down.
"The situation is very serious in some parts of coastal Thiruvananthapuram, where the spread has been fast. Community spread is happening in areas like Pullivula, Poonthura," Mr Vijayan said.
India has reported over a million cases so far including over 25,000 deaths. The country is on the third spot on the list of worst coronavirus-hit nations. The centre, however, has not declared that the nation has entered the community transmission stage.
791 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday in the state, of which 532 are infections through local contacts. Source of infection in 42 people is unknown. The total of coronavirus cases in the state has reached 11,066.
Thiruvananthapuram on Friday reported 246 new cases, of which 240 were infected through local contacts. The city area of the state capital is under lockdown.
Mr Vijayan, however, has ruled out enforcing a complete lockdown.
"There will be only cluster-based lockdown now and we are not thinking of full lockdown. I can assure you that the situation is as expected and we are prepared to handle it. We were able to contain the spread till now," he added.
From Saturday, a lockdown will be enforced in the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram - which has been divided into three zones. There will be more restrictions in the capital, he said.