Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will go into complete lockdown from May 8 to May 16.
This was decided in the wake of exponential rise in Covid-19 cases in the State.
A mini-lockdown has already been in place in Kerala since May 4.
The Chief Minister's Office announced the decision on Thursday apparently on the basis of a police report, which raised doubts about the effectiveness of the mini-lockdown.
On Wednesday, the State reported 41,953 new COVID-19 cases and 58 related fatalities. The test positivity rate was 25.69 per cent.
The lockdown has been declared just when the strain on hospitals is threatening to go beyond manageable levels.
Ernakulam and Kozhikode have over 50,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals; Ernakulam has the highest with 58,378 and Kozhikode has 50,865. Malappuram and Thrissur have over 40,000 patients in hospitals; Malappuram has 43,045 and Thrissur hasd 42,187. There are three districts with more than 20,000 patients in hospitals: Thiruvananthapuram (31,179), Palakkad (26,800), Kannur (24,359) and Alappuzha (22,233).
In all, there are 3.8 lakh patients in hospitals across Kerala. At the moment, there are 2033 patients in ICU. Those requiring ventilator support are 818 patients.
However, the plus side is, Kerala has not yet entered panic mode like in Delhi. As it stands, there is not shortage of beds, including ICU beds. Only 41.7 percent of beds have been full till May 5. As for ICU beds, only 26.5 percent of beds are full, leaving nearly 75 percent vacant. Only 36 percent of ventilator support has also been used up till now.
This controlled pressure on the health system has been made possible by the government decision to treat asymptomatics and mild symptomatics at home.
The total shut down from May 8 is expected to bring down the cases in at least 10 days time.
The Centre listed 10 Kerala districts among 30 all over the country where Covid-19 cases rose exponentially in the last two weeks.
Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram were the districts mentioned in the Centre's list.
The Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association (KGMOA) had urged the state government to impose a two-week total lockdown in the State on April 29 itself.
"We appreciate the government for declaring the lockdown at least now," Dr G S Vijayakrishnan, president of the KGMOA, told Manorama News.
Indian Medical Association too welcomed the state government’s lockdown decision.
The government has not yet published the lockdown restrictions.