Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said with the test positivity rate (TPR) in the state continuing to be high, it has been decided to extend the present lockdown till May 23, while four districts --Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram -- will come under a "triple lockdown".
He said the effects of the lockdown will take some more time for the effects to be visible, and called on everyone to cooperate as it is for the common good.
"On Friday, 34,694 people turned positive after 1,31,375 samples was tested, thereby taking the total active cases to 4,42,194. The TPR for the day stands at 26.41 per cent," Vijayan told the media here.
With triple lockdown, which will come into effect soon, residents in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram will see increased restrictions.
These four districts are those where the maximum number of cases are presently being reported. On Friday, the total number of cases in Thiruvananthapuram was 44,934, while it was 69,180 in Ernakulam, 56,194 in Thrissur, and 50,778 in Malappuram.
The state saw 93 deaths due to Covid on Friday, taking the total toll to 6,243.
Across the state, there were 10,14,454 people under observation at various places, including 37,197 at hospitals. There were 844 hot spots in the state.
Vijayan also cautioned that with heavy rains expected till May 16, all should ensure that they keep their surroundings of homes clean and Sunday should be used for this, as along with the rains, come diseases.
"The state is fully geared to face the heavy rains with extra forces already arriving in the state including with helicopters," he added.
On Friday, over 13,000 cases were registered against people who violated Covid protocols and the total fines realised amounted to Rs 33 lakh.
With regards to the vaccination protocols, Vijayan said all those who have taken the first dose of Covishield vaccines, the second dose needs to be taken after 84 days, while for those who have taken Covaxin, they have to take the second dose between 4-6 weeks. Registration of those in the age group 18 to 45 for vaccination will start from Monday and preference will be for those having co-morbidities, he added.
He also pointed out that basic prices for Covid items like PPE kit have been fixed and it should not exceed Rs 273 for them, while for N-95 masks, it is Rs 22, surgical masks at Rs 4, and sanitiser (100ml) at Rs 55.