Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that even when the state is facing a second wave of Covid with a huge surge of cases, it is fully geared to face it with all the required health infrastructure ready while ruling out a complete lockdown as unnecessary.
“Starting April 16 to 20, mass testing took place when 3,32,305 people took the test and the test positivity rate was 17.69 per cent. On Wednesday when 1,21,763 people were tested, 22,414 turned positive. Across the country, things are the same with a huge surge.
“Even while cases here continue to rise, we are fully equipped… when the requirement of oxygen is 74.25 MT, we produce 219.22 MT. Likewise when it comes to the 9,735 ICU beds that are available in the state, today there are 911 that are in use and when it comes to use of ventilators of the 3,726 that are available, only 277 are being used for Covid patients,” Vijayan said.
He also pointed out that 2,249 centres are ready for taking Covid patients with a total bed strength of 1,99,256.
“While during the first wave, the strategy was delay the peak, this time it is going to be crush the curve. We have decided to strictly impose the night curfew that is already in place. This Saturday, all the government offices will be given a holiday. It has also been decided to see that only 50 per cent of the government staff on a rotation basis need to report for duty, while the rest can be used for Covid-related work,” added Vijayan.
He said that the state government has already promised that vaccine would be given free and it would be done.
“There is a serious shortage of vaccines and we have requested the Centre to ensure adequate supply of vaccines without delay. It’s not right for the Centre to demand money for vaccines as the states are reeling under severe financial crisis,” he said.
Vijayan also brushed aside criticism for violating Covid protocols as his wife travelled with him in the car.
He also said with the surge continuing, he is going to call an all party meeting to decide on the steps to be taken on the counting day on May 2.