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Kerala orders complete lockdown on Saturday, Sunday

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 21, 2021

Three lakh tests to be carried out on Friday; TPR at 11.97%

Kerala has officially brought back the strict weekend lockdown regime into effect with effect from this Saturday and Sunday (July 24 and 25), with the State government ruling out grant of additional relaxations under any circumstances.

This came on a day when the State reported 17,481 new Covid-19 positive cases out of 1,45,993 samples tested at a TPR of 11.97 per cent. There were 14,131 recoveries, while the number of active cases on date rose further to 1,29,640 on Wednesday.

The northern districts continued to witness intense transmission with Malappuram reporting 2,318 new cases; Ernakulam running in a close second with 2,270; followed by Kozhikode (2,151); and Thrissur (1,983); Palakkad (1,394). In the South, Kollam reported 1,175 cases and Thiruvananthapuram, 1,166.

Mass testing on Friday

Meanwhile, the government ordered a mass testing campaign on Friday, with a target of three lakh tests and special focus on districts where the seven-day average test positivity rate is above 10 per cent.

The number of daily tests shall also be enhanced urgently to the peak testing capacity for the effective containment of the pandemic, said the order signed by the State Chief Secretary.

District Collectors have been directed to identify and demarcate micro-containment zones in all districts, regardless of the categorisation of the local self-government jurisdictions, and enforce special intensified stringent restrictions so as to bring down the new cases at the earliest, said a government order.

SC strictures

The order also recalled that the Supreme Court has directed the State to give heed to Article 21 read with Article 144 of the Constitution, and follow the law laid down in its orders in the Uttar Pradesh case. The current situation of the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the State was reviewed on Wednesday, in compliance with the Supreme Court directions.

This was followed by the Chief Secretary, in his capacity as Chairman of the State Executive Committee of State Disaster Management Authority, issuing orders.

The present categorisation of the local self-government institution regions based on seven-day average Test Positivity Rate into A, B, C, D in the order of increasing prevalence will continue. Exemptions and restrictions already applicable to the respective category areas will continue.

Zika cases

The State reported three more cases of Zika virus infections on Wednesday, all women patients, in Thiruvananthapuram. This takes the cumulative number of infections to 41, of which, only five are currently active cases. Their health parameters are satisfactory, said Health Minister Veena George.

Published on July 21, 2021

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