No complete lockdown in Kerala as of now: Pinarayi

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government decided not to go in for a complete lockdown after an all-party meeting held via video conference.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who met the media after the meeting on Friday, said the representatives of various political parties were against a complete shut down.

"There were two opinions on a lockdown. Some experts wanted complete shut down, while others wanted the existing restrictions to be strengthened. I put forward the same at the all-party-meeting and the representatives were not in favour of the complete lockdown. They said that the current restrictions should be strengthened," Pinarayi said.

The general opinion was that surveillance in the clusters should be strengthened, he said, adding that there would be no lockdown at least this week as the number of cases on Friday have gone down compared to the past two days.

"When a situation arises, a decision on total lockdown will be taken," he added.

The Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had earlier in the day informed the media that the Front was not in favour of a complete lockdown.

Representatives of various political parties took part in the online all-party-meeting on Friday, where they expressed their opinions.

No complete lockdown in Kerala as of now: Pinarayi
Ramesh Chennithala

"The government should not resort to a complete lockdown in the state. However, it can consider implementing a triple lockdown in the regions wherever it is required," opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala told reporters.

The CPM Secretariat is of the opinion that a total lockdown in the state again will bring great hardship to the people.

Nonetheless, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the media on Friday that lockdown would have to be imposed if the COVID situation in the state went beyond control.

Sources said the CPM state secretary was only trying to hint that the government had not fully ruled out lockdown. But at the moment, the CPM Secretariat is wary of a full lockdown.

According to sources, if the total cases shoot up to 2,000 cases by July 26, a decision to go for a second complete lockdown will be taken at the special cabinet meeting on July 27.

In some relief for Kerala, 968 people recovered from the infection on Friday against 885 positive cases, including 24 health workers, while four deaths were reported, pushing the official toll to 54.

As many as 9,371 people are presently under treatment for the disease.

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