Kerala covid vaccine health workers
Health workers help an elderly woman as she leaves after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Image Credit: ANI

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has announced a total lockdown in the state from Saturday until May 16 in an effort to curb the rising cases of COVID-19.

Minister for Transport A.K. Saseendran confirmed that the state had no other option but to go for total lockdown given the surge. “This is the only way out and it will only benefit all of us. So all have to abide by it and stay home,” said Saseendran.

President of the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association, Vijayakrishnan said there is no way out other than for strict lockdown.

The IMA State wing also wanted tough protocols, but an all-party meeting held last week decided to wait and was against declaring a total lockdown.

“This lockdown is different from the one we had last year as then the number of cases was very less. The situation now is grave as the numbers are going high by the day. This lockdown will certainly help us bring down the new cases,” said Vijayakrishnan.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the spike in cases and said 41,953 people turned COVID-19 positive after 1,63,321 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.

The TPR on Wednesday stood at 25.68 per cent and the total number of active positive cases in the state stood at 375,658, while 23,106 people recovered taking the total recoveries to 1,362,363.

Since the end of last month as a first step, partial lockdowns were enforced on Saturdays and Sundays, which was extended from Tuesday.