The second wave of Covid in Kerala has peaked and the strict enforcement of the statewide lockdown has achieved success, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told mediapersons on Monday.
He said experts have concluded that the second wave might have peaked, but that is no ground for lowering the guard. The test positivity rate is consistently falling, he said.
The number of active cases, which had reached 4.45 lakh at one stage, has now come down to 3.6 lakh, which is an encouraging trend, Vijayan pointed out. This shows that the lockdown, including the week-end restrictions that had been in force even before the full-fledged shutdown was clamped, has been very effective, he said.
Between May 1 and 8, the average daily case load in the state was over 37,000, which has come down to about 35,000 during the lockdown. In eight districts, the incidence of new infections has come down by up to a third.
However, in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Malappuram and Palakkad, the number of daily caseloads is going up, which is causing concern. In Kollam, there has been an increase of over 20 per cent.
A triple lockdown is in force in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram, where police is patrolling the roads on motorbikes. The chief minister said people were by and large cooperating with the lockdown.
The health authorities are concerned at the increasing spread of the disease among the tribal settlements and plantation areas, where the facilities for quarantine and similar precautionary measures are limited.
The state launched the vaccination drive for the age group 18-45 on Monday, but it got off to a slow start due to shortage of vaccines. Even within this group, preference is being given to those who are suffering from health issues, along with high priority categories, such as healthcare workers and those who are dealing with public for various tasks.
The chief minister announced that the state government has initiated the process to procure 3 core doses of vaccine, including the import of foreign vaccines.