Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that there are signs that lockdown is improving the situation and experts predict that the peak is over, but this should not be the reason for slackening of Covid protocols.
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 weekend restrictions that had been in force even before the full-fledged shutdown was clamped down, has been very effective, he said. Between May 1 and May 8, the average daily caseload in the state was over 37,000, which came down to about 35,000 during the lockdown weeks.
In eight districts, the incidence of new infection has come down by up to a third. But 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 percent. A triple lockdown is in force in the four districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram, where police are 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 in vaccine supply.