COVID-19: Lockdown in Kerala extended till June 9 with some norms relaxed

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday announced the easing of lockdown norms, even as the lockdown was extended to June 9.

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“The COVID spread is coming down and on Saturday the test positivity rate (TPR) stood at 16.59 per cent, while the average for the past three days it was 20 per cent. When we imposed the lockdown earlier this month, our objective was to bring down the active cases to less than 2.50 lakhs and that we achieved yesterday. We will have to continue with caution as things have to be further brought under control and hence we decided to extend the lockdown till June 9,” said Vijayan.

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He however said that more easing of lockdown norms will be there which include banks working for the entire day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while jewellery, textiles and book shops can open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

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“If we have to declare a complete unlock, then the TPR has to further come down and the three day moving average has to be less than 15 per cent. Moreover the occupancy of ICU beds government has to come down below 60 per cent, while on Saturday it’s above 70 per cent. If we declare unlock before that, it will be troublesome, so let us all wait for things to get below the acceptable levels,” added Vijayan.

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Vijayan said the day saw 23,513 people turn positive after 1,41,759 samples was send for testing in the past 24 hours.

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“At present there are 2,33,034 active cases. There were 28,100 people who turned negative taking the total cured in the state to 22,52,505. There were 198 COVID deaths taking the death toll to 8,455 and there were 8,35,866 people under observation at various places which includes 39,466 people at hospitals.

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“The increase in death is because of the increase of the spread of COVID. The classification of COVID deaths is based on ICMR guidelines,” said Vijayan.

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With regards to vaccinations, Vijayan said that stocks are arriving and very soon we will be able to increase the number of people who will be given their dose, every day.

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“Vaccines companies have expressed their interests to set up manufacturing units at our Life Sciences Park complex. This was conveyed by them at a webinar. It has also been decided to reduce the gap between the first dose and second dose for all those who are proceeding abroad for work or as students. A certificate will be given mentioning the passport number to the concerned person,” added Vijayan.

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