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Daily Covid count crosses 1,000, Kerala considers lockdown

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says final decision after considering all aspects; local transmission accounts for 65% of total cases

Published: 23rd July 2020 06:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2020 06:30 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Police officials letting the employees enter by following stringent vetting at the Ernakulam market. (Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus continues its ominous climb, the  government is considering a statewide lockdown again. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan revealed the government’s line of thinking on Wednesday after the daily case count crossed 1,000 for the first time.

Among the 1,038 new cases, a majority — 785 — resulted from local transmission with the source of infection remaining unknown in 57. While local contact accounted for over 65 per cent of the total cases across the state, it is a worrying 94.4 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram.

The CM said a final decision on the proposal for a statewide lockdown will be taken only after considering all aspects. The clarification came as several experts have questioned the efficacy of lockdown, and highlighted its impact on the livelihood of people. With the national lockdown having ended, the state has switched to a strategy of containment zone management. The strategy was tweaked slightly when the government imposed a triple lockdown in the capital on July 6 amid a surge in cases.

According to the CM, Covid-19 cases have increased steadily but the spread is lower compared to the national situation. Only one death was officially accounted for though reports said that four Covid-19 positive patients died on the day that also saw 272 persons recover from the disease.

The total number of Covid-19 patients has crossed 15,000 and the active cases have moved closer to 9,000. While 53 patients are admitted to ICUs, nine are on ventilator support. Daily testing increased to 20,847 samples, taking the total number of samples tested to 3,18,644.

Speaking of stringent measures to contain a further spread of the virus, Pinarayi said shop owners will face action -- including arrest -- if they fail to implement social distancing in shops. A special team has been set up to monitor the functioning of shops, he said.

Responding to Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala’s comments of unsatisfactory  recovery rate, the CM said the state’s discharge policy was more stringent than the national policy and that the state government had not diluted it to show better recovery figures.

“While the national policy allows discharge if a person becomes asymptomatic after 10 days, the state mandates two consecutive negative test results for discharge. The method was followed considering the safety of the general public,” he said.

Covid FLTCs
Total beds    15,975
Occupied beds    4,535

Safety gear in stock
N95 masks    3.42 lakh
PPE kits    3.86 lakh
Three-layered masks    16.1 lakh
Gloves    40.3 lakh

Ventilators purchased recently    80
ICU ventilators given by the Centre    270
Ventilators expected from the Centre    50
Operational ventilators    6,007
Ambulances exclusively for Covid-19    947
Mobile medical units    50



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