The Kerala government on Thursday announced a complete lockdown in the state from May 8 morning in view of the severe COVID-19 surge in the second wave of the pandemic.
"Lockdown to be imposed in the state from 6 am on May 8 to May 16, in wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave," Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Strict lockdown-like restrictions are already in place in the southern state and the Pinarayi Vijayan government decided to clamp the complete shutdown in the wake of a severe spike in the positive cases.
Kerala had reported the highest-ever single day spurt in positive cases on Wednesday adding 41,953 infections.
Addressing media on Wednesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that there are 3,75,658 active COVID-19 cases in the state. "A total of 23,106 people also recovered today. Total 13,62,363 patients recovered so far, while 5,565 deaths have been reported till now," he said.
Vijayan said Kerala is going through a serious situation with COVID spreading rapidly in the state.
"The test positivity rate is not coming down. The situation calls for imposing more restrictions in the state," he said.
The Chief Minister asked the banks in the state to stop all recovery proceedings in view of the serious situation and informed that Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Kerala Water Authority (KWA) have been asked to stop collecting the pending bill arrears for two months.
"People in the state who need emergency medicines and are unable to go out can seek the help of Kerala Police to buy medicine by calling the police control room," he said and directed the State Police media centre to spread awareness in social media about COVID-19 guidelines.
(With inputs from ANI)