Kerala to change lockdown strategy, roll out new norms

With the Covid test positivity rate (TPR) falling to 11 per cent and antipathy towards disruptions to normal life growing in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said from Thursday onwards, there would be a change in strategy on the lockdown norms.

“In the coming days, we will be coming out with the new strategy to be adopted on how Covid should be tackled and it could be centred around the actual places where there are higher number of cases,” he said, noting that experts have warned of a third wave and “hence we all have to work together to ensure that we are not pushed into a third lockdown”.

“No one need to be worried of a third wave as the government is fully geared to tackle it and we are working on how best we can do it, especially as there are talks of the children getting impacted,” added Vijayan.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan wrote to Vijayan, noting that things are getting out of hand on the economic front due to the lockdown that has been in place for more than a month and hence, steps should be ensured to see that economic activity should be resumed at the earliest.

Vijayan said that the day saw 7,719 new cases being registered from 68,573 samples tested in the past 24 hours, while the total active cases were 1,13,817.

“The day saw 16,743 people turn negative, taking the total cured in the state to 26,10,368. There were 161 Covid deaths taking the death tally to 11,342,” he said.

On the vaccination front, Vijayan said so far 1.12 crores vaccines have been received in the state, which includes 98.53 lakhs from the Centre and four lakhs procured by the state.

“By now in the above age 45 category, 68.15 lakh have got their first jab, while 14.27 lakh got both. In the above 18 to 44 years, 10.95 lakh got their first and 9,059 lakh their second dose. Vaccination drive will be stepped up and this will include taking vaccines closer to the Adivasi population as it has been found out that 119 such colonies do not have a vaccination centre in a 10 square km radius,” he said.

Vijayan also said that fines being collected from people for breaking Covid protocols are being credited only in the government treasury account and not to the account of the Kerala Police.