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Kerala extends lockdown till May 30, CM says not the time to lower guard

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Friday extended the ongoing lockdown till May 30, while the triple lockdown enforced in four worst-affected districts will be withdrawn except in Malappuram, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said
PUBLISHED ON MAY 22, 2021 12:07 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Friday extended the ongoing lockdown till May 30, while the triple lockdown enforced in four worst-affected districts will be withdrawn except in Malappuram, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Vijayan said though the test positivity rate and active cases have gone down slightly in the last two weeks, it was not the time to lower guard. Kerala, which is one of the five worst affected states, has been under lockdown since May 7. Later, triple lockdown (strict provisions than curfew) was imposed in four high-case districts: Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thirssur and Malappuram.

“There is no let-up in cases in Malappuram. Its TPR still remains high. Senior police officers will be camping in the district to take stock of the situation. We have to continue our vigil in other parts of the state though cases are coming down slightly,” he said.

In last three days, average TPR in Malappuram was 33%.

The state reported 29,673 new cases on Friday when 133,558 people were tested, recording a test positivity rate of 22.22%. The new cases pushed the active caseload in the state to 306,346, which is slightly lower than two weeks ago when the caseload had gone past 475,000. However, what is worrying for the state is the fact that the death rate is going up steadily. Kerala reported 142 deaths on Friday, highest since the outbreak began last year. The state’s mortality rate continues to remain lowest in the country at 0.4% against the national average of 1.30%. In the last one-week, the state has reported 751 deaths, according to health ministry data.

Meanwhile fearing exodus of migrant labourers, the state government has started distribution of free food kits while asking contractors and builders to ensure their well-being. According to latest data, around two million people from other states are working in the state especially in construction and unorganised sectors, of which 700,000 have left Kerala in the last two months after the second wave swept the state.

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