Kerala extends lockdown till June 9, announces relaxation for some areas

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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Image tweeted by @ANI)
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Image tweeted by @ANI)

Kerala : Kerala has extended its lockdown till June 9, and announced some relaxations in the areas with less number of daily coronavirus cases. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on May 29 explained that the positivity rate in the state has come down but Kerala is not yet ready to completely remove the restrictions.

From May 31, the industries have been allowed to operate with only 50% of the total staff members. Industries or shops that provide raw materials to manufacturers are allowed to open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This includes packaging industries too.

The banks have been allowed to operate for three days a week – same as now – but the operation time has been increased till 5 pm. Shops that provide supplements for students, textiles, jewelleries and sell shoes are allowed to open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Parcel service in toddy shops is allowed.

"Intention of the lockdown was to bring down the number of active cases below 2.5 lakhs. Through this, we were able to manage the spike in active cases so that there was no shortage of medical facilities," Chief Minister told the media in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said that the coronavirus lockdown can be relaxed only if the total occupancy of an ICU bed drops under 60% and average positivity test rates stays below 15%. "As of now 70% of the ICU beds in government hospitals are occupied. Three days average test positivity is 18%. So, we cannot relax the lockdown," he said.

Kerala has reported 23,513 novel coronavirus cases have been reported on May 29, and 198 COVID-19 deaths. Total positivity rate has been below 20% in Kerala for the last three days, and 2,33,034 patients are currently under treatment in the state.