Kerala to impose night curfew as rising COVID-19 cases spark fear of third wave


New Delhi: As Kerala crossed the 30,000 daily cases mark for the fourth consecutive day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday (August 28) announced that the night curfew will be reimposed from Monday (August 30). 

The night curfew will be in force from 10pm till 6 am in the state from Monday, Vijayan said. Earlier, the Kerala government had decided to continue with Sunday lockdown. 

The decision comes as Kerala has been reporting over 30,000 daily coronavirus cases since August 25, highest single-day spike since May this year. The Kerala CM told the reporters on Saturday that out of the 1,67,497 samples tested in the last 24 hours, 31,265 samples tested positive for coronavirus infection. With 153 fatalities, the death toll climbed to 20,466. The total caseload in the state reached 39,77,572, while the Test Positivity rate dropped to 18.67 per cent from 19.22 on August 27. As per official data, Kerala accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the national total of daily infections.

A health department release said, “Out of those found infected, 120 people reached the state from outside, while 29,891 contracted the disease from their contacts. The sources of infection of 1,158 are yet to be traced. Among those infected are 96 health workers.”

Meanwhile, as festive season is around the corner, the Centre on Saturday extended the COVID-19 guidelines for another month till September 30. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to chief secretaries of states and union territories asked them to ensure there are no large gatherings. He also directed them to take proactive measures to check the spread of coronavirus.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan slammed the Kerala government over the spike in COVID-19 cases and said the Vijayan government is trying to blame the public, instead of identifying failures in adopting a strategy, ANI reported. 

Defending the Kerala model, in an article published in Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s magazine ‘Chintha’, Kerala CM Vijayan had termed the criticism of his government “unwanted” and claimed no deaths occurred in the state due to lack of oxygen. “If Kerala model is wrong in Covid containment, then which model should we follow? No one had died in Kerala due to a lack of oxygen. No person was deprived of medical aid or medical bed,” he said. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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