The number of new Covid cases in Kerala continued to surge, as 37,290 people were reported positive from 1,39,287 samples tested in the past 24 hours as on Tuesday.
The state is under a complete lockdown from Saturday to the coming Sunday and it remains to be seen if the restrictions will be lifted as the second Pinarayi Vijayan government has to be sworn-in.
Vijayan was non-committal when asked if the swearing-in will take place on May 20, as reported by a section of the media.
Incidentally, the Chief Minister had warned that there should be no laxity in maintaining strict Covid protocols as by the end of the week, the number of active case is expected to cross six lakh.
A statement issued here by health authorities also said 32,978 people turned negative, taking the total cured in the state to 15,37,138, while at present, there were 4,23,957 active cases in the state.
Tuesday also saw the maximum number of deaths so far, at 79, taking the total death toll to 5,958.
The statement also said that across the state, there were 9,93,313 people under observation at various places, including 34,149 people in hospitals. A total of 12 new hotspots were added, taking the total to 810.
In a related development with all the retail outlets and bars closed from April 26, a report by the state Excise Department said that even after two weeks, there were only five cases in the state where people had to be treated for withdrawal symptoms and just 29 people had to undergo counselling, while during the last year’s lockdown for 64 days, when there were no supply of alcohol in the state, then 2,200 people had to undergo counselling.
But, this figure has been refuted by a mental specialist who termed the data “not reliable”.
Now all eyes are on Saturday when Vijayan sits down to take a call on if the lockdown needs to be extended and if there will be any decision to open retail liquor outlets.