For the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Kerala has reported more than 30,000 Covid cases in a day. The state’s active caseload has risen by a whopping 255 per cent in the last two weeks, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kerala, one of the worst-hit states in the country, had logged 21,890 Covid cases and 28 deaths in 24 hours yesterday. Today, the daily coronavirus figures stood at 32,819 cases and 32 deaths.
The state has 2,47,181 active cases presently.
Several states have been breaking their records of biggest Covid spikes as the more dangerous second wave of infections sweeps through the country.
India has been reporting over three lakh daily coronavirus cases and over 2,000 deaths for several days now, triggering critical shortages of drugs, hospital beds and medical oxygen.
The Left government, however, has assured there would not be any disruptions in oxygen supply in the state. It has decided to ramp up oxygen availability and create buffer stocks.
The state has announced strict curbs to control the unprecedented coronavirus surge.
Cinema halls, malls, gyms, sports complexes, swimming pools and bars in the state would remain shut indefinitely, the Pinarayi Vijayan government said on Monday.
Banning all social, political, cultural and religious gatherings, the government said only essential and emergency services would be allowed on weekends.
Marriages would have to be completed within 2 hours with not more than 50 guests. Only 20 people would be allowed at funerals, it added.
The Chief Minister today appealed to people to postpone weddings and gatherings for now.
“If Kerala wants to avoid a lockdown that is being seen in other states, it will have to take utmost care and caution. It is important to consider if weddings can be kept aside for now. We must be willing to set aside programmes involving people’s gatherings under these circumstances,” he said.
Experts say the virulent mutant variants of the virus and people’s carelessness about following the anti-Covid rules – like wearing masks and maintaining social distance – are the two main reasons for the country-wide surge.