Thiruvananthapuram: While the state government has faced the heat for failing to curb the surge in COVID-19 cases, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has ruled out a complete lockdown in the state stating that it will create a huge crisis for the economy and livelihoods, as per the CMO. He asked everyone to strictly follow the quarantine protocol or else fine will be levied. “Nobody wants another state-wide lockdown because its implementation will adversely affect the economy and the livelihood of the people,” the CM said.

The CM has asked the local self government bodies in the state to intervene effectively in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and said neighbourhood committees would be formed to check the spread of the virus.

 

 

Vijayan, who was speaking at a virtual meeting of statewide local self government body representatives and officials, said the state was able to keep the case fatality rate at around 0.5 per cent even when the test positivity rate was around 18-20 per cent. “Neighbourhood committees, comprising government officials, volunteers, resident associations, would be set up for COVID-19 mitigation. Intervention should be made to reduce the spread in the state. The neighbourhood committees, rapid response team, ward-level committees, police and sectoral magistrates should implement the restrictions and control the spread,” Vijayan said. 

He said those who come in contact with a positive patient should be kept under observation and asked the local self government bodies, leaders, and officials to work together as they have done in the initial phase of the pandemic. “We have already given the first dose of vaccine to 74 per cent of the people and second dose to 27 per cent of the population. All health workers and frontline workers have been administered with the first dose of vaccine and 86 per cent of them received the second jab,” he said.

Kerala continues to register a record number of COVID-19 infections with the state reporting 29,322 new cases and 131 deaths on Friday (September 3). As per the state health department, the total death toll mounted to 21,280. At a time when COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country have declined after the ravaging second wave, Kerala continues to contribute a majority of infections to India’s fresh daily count for the past several days.

(With Agency inputs)

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