Kerala announces complete lockdown from May 8 to 16 amid rise in COVID cases

Thiruvananthapuram : The Kerala government on Thursday announced a complete lockdown in the state from May 8 to 16 in view of the steep rise in Coronavirus cases, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The lockdown will come into effect from 0600 hours on Saturday.

A decision to this effect was taken following a direction from the Chief Minister, sources quoting Mr Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to provide 1000 tonnes of imported Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to meet the rising demand due to surge in COVID cases.

“In order to augment the storage, we require at least 1000 tonnes of imported LMO.”

“Since the overall projected requirement of liquid medical oxygen in the State is rising, the buffer storage within the state needs to be augmented urgently keeping in view the depletion of storage due to heavy daily demand,” he added.

“I request that the Ministry of External Affairs may be advise to allot the required quantity partly from the current tranche of imports and balance from future imports. Allotment of 500 Metric Tonnes of LMO from the nearest steel plant to the state may also be advised,” Mr Vijayan said.

He said “There are 2,857 ICU beds in government hospitals across Kerala. Of this, 996 beds are being used for the treatment of Covid patients and 756 beds for non-Covid patients.”

“About 38.7% of ICU beds in government hospitals are still available. In private hospitals, there are 7,085 ICU beds and currently, 1,037 beds are being used for Covid patients.”

The total number of ventilators currently available in government hospitals is 2,293. Of these, 441 ventilators are being used for the treatment of Covid patients and 185 for non-Covid patients, which means, a total of about 27.3% are currently in use.

Of the 1,523 ventilators in private hospitals, 377 are currently being used for Covid treatment.

He said 0.96% of the beds in CFLTCs and 20.6% of the beds in CLTCs are oxygen beds. Of the total 3,231 oxygen beds in medical colleges, 1,731 beds have been set aside for Covid treatment.. Pesently, patients are being treated in 1,429 beds and 546 were non-Covid patients. This means, of the total 3,231 oxygen beds, 1,975 are now in use.

“In the matter of vaccination, I request that the Union Government may take into account the number of persons in the state awaiting second dose vaccination as also the number of persons registered for first dose, while determining further allotment of vaccines to various states,” the Chief Minister said.

He also requested the Centre to allot 50 lakh doses of Covishield and 25 lakh doses of Covaxin to Kerala.