Thiruvananthapuram; The party meet in Kerala decided to take immediate steps to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and take necessary precautions in view of rising cases. There is no plan to impose complete lockdown again, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Once praised for its effective pandemic control measures, now the state is facing a huge challenge after cases increased in September as the state’s test positivity rate is 13.94 percent while the national average is below 8 percent. Though cases surged and recovery decreased, the mortality rate is low in the state when compared to other states. In terms of active cases, the state is in the fifth position and the struggle is visible. Health machinery and ICU facilities are almost full in major hospitals. Covid-19 cases increased in the state while neighboring states showed a downward fall.
“The situation is serious. All parties promised their support to the government. All strikes and protests have been put off till a later time and there will be a strict ban on crowd gatherings, if the present trend continued cases may peak by the middle of October. A new guideline will be issued in a couple of days and another lockdown is not possible.” CM said.
The Indian Medical Association has asked the state government to declare a medical emergency as the situation has turned serious. “The crisis in the state will deteriorate if stringent steps are not taken. With a high population density and a large number of elderly people, the situation will be really alarming. A health emergency must be declared to create awareness among the people,” the IMA said in its letter to the chief minister. The IMA also said that the state has a relatively low-testing rate and it should be increased considerably. But the CM said there is no plan to impose a medical emergency.
In view of the rising cases, the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front had stopped its ongoing stir against Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel who was interrogated by the National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate in connection with the gold smuggling case. Earlier, state health minister KK Shailaja had blamed opposition parties for the recent surge in cases. The state had witnessed violent protests in the last two weeks.
On Tuesday, the state has reported 7354 new cases taking the total to 1,87,276 cases. 1,24,688 people have recovered and active cases currently stand at 61,791. With 22 deaths, the toll has gone up to 720.