With the second wave of the Covid pandemic surging, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocation of 1,000 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen and 75 lakh doses of vaccines.
On Tuesday, 37,190 people turned positive after 1,42,588 samples were tested in the past 24 hours while there were 3,56,872 active cases in the state.
Moreover, the test positivity rate in the state has been in the range of 25 per cent in the past many days, forcing Vijayan to seek immediate help from the Centre.
In his letter to Modi, Vijayan said with the import of oxygen now taking place, Kerala needs the first instalment of 500 tonnes, and then it should be given another 500 tonnes in the second round.
“Taking into concern the spike in Covid cases in Kerala, we should be allocated oxygen tankers, oxygen concentrates and ventilators on an urgent basis,” he said.
He also sought fresh supplies of vaccines which includes 50 lakh doses of Covishield and 25 lakhs of Covaxin.
With the spurt in positive cases in the past three weeks, and despite Vijayan time and again stating that complete lockdown will not happen, the government has now decided that things have reached dangerous levels and announced a near lockdown till Sunday and with every chance of extending it for another week.
One reason why the near lockdown like status is prevailing is because close to 30,000 cases being reported, it would be practically impossible to hold the swearing-in ceremony of his for a second term, after he led the Left to a record breaking win with 99 seats in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
As things stand, the swearing-in might take place in the third week of May.