Lockdown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu amid a southern surge in COVID wave

New Delhi, May 8

With the fierce second COVID wave now tightening its grip over southern states, Kerala came under complete lockdown from Saturday morning, while Tamil Nadu too clamped a two-week “total” shut down starting May 10.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had on Friday announced lockdown-like restrictions with more stringent curbs from May 10 to May 24 in the state.

The Kerala government decided to impose a nine-day complete shutdown as the weekend restrictions and curbs imposed earlier failed to create any desired impact in terms of the daily caseload of the infected persons.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state was facing more challenges in the second wave.

Kerala recorded 41,971 fresh cases on Saturday, pushing the COVID-19 tally to 18,66,827, while the toll mounted to 5,746 with 64 more deaths. Active cases now stood at 4.17 lakh, the state government said.

Only essential services are exempted and people have been strictly warned against coming out in public places or travelling unnecessarily, with police intensifying patrolling.

Major temples are closed. All borders are under the strict surveillance of the police and only freight vehicles and those having permission from the authorities concerned are permitted through check-posts, state police added.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said that a total lockdown had to be clamped in the backdrop of a sharp increase in daily new infections of about 25,000 which was likely to go up.

“The total lockdown will be enforced from 4 AM on May 10 to 4 AM on May 24 to further intensify the efforts to curb the spread of the disease,” he said.

Puducherry is already under lockdown till May 10.

Andhra Pradesh had announced a partial lockdown with curfew from 12 noon to 6 AM from May 6 for two weeks. The state had earlier imposed a night curfew. Telangana has extended night curfew till May 15.

Twelve states accounted for 80.68 per cent of India’s over 37.23 lakh active coronavirus cases, according to official data.

Maharashtra has the maximum number of active cases at 6.57 lakh, followed by Karnataka 5,36,661, Kerala 4,02,997, Uttar Pradesh 2,54,118, and Rajasthan 1,99,147 cases.

The other states having large active cases are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar.

Ten states accounted for 70.77 per cent of the new cases in the last 24 hours, out of which Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 54,022, followed by Karnataka 48,781 and Kerala 38,460 new cases.

Among the remaining seven states and union territories with high daily new cases are Uttar Pradesh (27,763), Tamil Nadu (26,465) and Delhi (19,832).

A record 4,187 COVID-19 fatalities in a day took India’s death toll to 2,38,270, while 4,01,078 new infections were reported during the period, pushing the tally of cases to 2,18,92,676, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday morning.

The 4,187 new fatalities include 898 from Maharashtra, 592 from Karnataka, 372 from Uttar Pradesh, 341 from Delhi, 208 from Chhattisgarh and 197 from Tamil Nadu.

Many of the states have already announced lockdown or similar curbs like corona curfew.

In the Northeast, Mizoram government has announced seven-day complete lockdown from May 10 and Sikkim has imposed lockdown-like restrictions till May 16.

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