Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has on Friday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown till May 23. The decision comes in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in the state. On Friday, Kerala logged 34,694 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 20,55,528 while 93 deaths pushed the toll to 6,243.
"The positivity rate remains high, so the state government has decided to extend the present complete lockdown in Kerala till May 23rd," Pinarayi Vijayan said. "Triple lockdown will be imposed in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram, where the test positivity rate is high," he added.
What is Kerala’s ‘triple lockdown’ strategy?
Kerala had imposed a ‘triple lockdown’ strategy in Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod last year. According to an Indian Express article, the strategy needs focused interventions by the police at three different levels to reduce the impact of the community spread or prevent it completely.
The first lock prevents the movement of the people all over the area. Only one road is used for entry/exit, and all other roads are shut down using barricades. Public transport is also suspended and private transport is allowed only for essential purposes. Grocery, vegetable stores and medical shops are open, however, people are advised to call helpline numbers for doorstep delivery.
The second lock is on the areas where people infected with COVID-19 or their contacts stay i.e, containment zones. There will be an intensified police presence in these areas.
The third lock involves a focused intervention on the households of the people infected with COVID-19 and their primary and secondary contacts. Those who test positive are taken to hospitals, while the asymptomatic contacts are monitored strictly so that they don’t venture out of their homes. Guards are posted outside such households to keep a check.