Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 29: Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today informed the extension of lockdown restrictions in the state for one more week. Briefing the media, the CM said, “Today’s review meeting has decided to make small changes in the classification of areas according to the spread of the disease.”

The LSG bodies have been reclassified on the basis of the average TPR for the last seven days. Accordingly, there are 165 local bodies in the A category (TPR less than 6%), 473 in the B category (6-12% TPR), 316 in the C category (12-18% TPR) and 80 in the D category (TPR more than 18%). The new restrictions would come into effect from Thursday, July 01.

“The average TPR is still above 10% but down from a high of 29.75%.  The expected progress in TPR decline is not visible. The lockdown cannot continue all the time. That’s why the relaxations were allowed but there is concern that TPR is not falling below 10%. Statistics from the past week indicate that there is no considerable decline in the number of patients. We expect the TPR to decrease gradually. There are many non-infected people in Kerala as the speed of transmission was well controlled in the first wave. According to the Sero Survey conducted by ICMR, only about 11% of people here were infected during the first wave as against the national average of 21%. The delta variant is spreading as part of the second wave. Although the disease spread faster than the first wave, we were able to contain the wave in a way that our health systems could accommodate because restrictions were enforced from the beginning and treatment arrangements were strengthened according to the situation. In this scenario, there is no need to relax the existing restrictions”, the CM said.

Meanwhile, 13,550 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Kerala today from 1,23,225 sample tests in the last 24 hours with a TPR of 11%. At the same time, 104 recent deaths were confirmed as due to Covid and the related death toll in the State is now 13,093. Today 10,283 patients have recovered from the disease and at present, there are 99,174 persons undergoing treatment in Kerala. Malappuram district has the highest number of 1,708 new active cases.

The Chief Minister announced a change in the funeral protocol of Covid victims allowing close relatives to see the body and perform limited religious rites, all within an hour. He also informed that banks have been directed to halt the revenue recovery proceedings of those Covid victims who have defaulted on bank loans.

 Vaccination status update

As on June 29, 1,38,62,459 doses of vaccine have been distributed in the state. Among healthcare workers, the first dose was given to 5,36,218 people and the second dose to 4,26,853.  Of the other frontline workers, 5,51,272 were given the first dose and 4,29,737 the second dose. The first dose was given to 78,12,226 people over the age of 45 and the second dose to 22,76,856. Among the 18 to 44 years old, the first dose was given to 18,05,308 persons and the second dose to 23,989. A total of 1,07,05,024 persons in the state have so far received the first dose. 31,57,435 have received both doses. 40% of the State’s population has got the first jab while 12% have got both shots.

“Once the vaccine is available, it can be delivered quickly and systematically. If we get the required amount of vaccine from the central government, we will be able to achieve herd immunity within three to four months”, the CM added.