Kerala on Thursday has announced a total weekend lockdown across the state amid rising in coronavirus cases. The recent government order said that on July 31 and August 1, the state will witness a full lockdown.
Around 50 per cent of coronavirus cases are being reported from Kerala itself. On Wednesday, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases crossed 20,000 for the second successive day. While on Tuesday, 22,129 people had tested positive. The fresh infections increased the overall caseload to 33,27,301, while the fatality count mounted to 16,457.
The central government is sending a six-member team from the National Centre for Disease Control to the state.
"As a large number of Covid cases are still being reported in Kerala, the team will aid the state's ongoing efforts in Covid management," said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
Some of the worst affected districts in the state are Malappuram, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam.
COVID-19 restrictions in Kerala are based on a seven-day average of Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in Local Self-Government Institutions. Accordingly, LSGIs with low TPR will have certain relaxations and places with high TPR will have stringent restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has revised COVID-19 guidelines and allowed photo studios to now open on permitted days in the wake of requirements for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Also, shops selling seeds and fertilizers were also categorised under essential services in a new government order.
According to a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) done between June 14 and July 6, Kerala, at 44.4 per cent, has lowest Covid antibodies.