Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday criticised reports of an extended lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram, his constituency, saying that three weeks of a shutdown have not stopped the spread of the novel coronavirus. The initial lockdown will end on Tuesday.

“Spoke to Kerala Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta to convey my concerns about reports of extended lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram,” Tharoor tweeted. “Many constituents point out that 3 weeks lockdown have not slowed the spread of #COVID19. We need to let people go back to work to balance lives & livelihoods.”

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday that a committee will explore the feasibility of relaxing the lockdown post Tuesday. “Due to serious conditions, there is a lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram,” Vijayan said. “A committee led by chief secretary will look into the guidelines and issues on giving relaxations.”

Kerala recorded 702 cases of the coronavirus on Monday. The total number of cases in the state is now 19,727, including 63 deaths. As many as 9,611 people are under treatment, 10,049 patients have recovered or been discharged and over 1.55 lakh persons are under observation, Vijayan said.

Of the new cases recorded on Monday, the contacts of only 483 persons could be traced. Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, reported the highest number of cases at 161. On July 17, Vijayan had admitted that some parts of the state, such as Thiruvananthapuram, were in the community transmission stage.

India on Tuesday registered 47,703 new cases and 654 fresh fatalities in the last 24 hours. With this, the country’s tally is now 14,83,156 and toll stands at 33,425. More than 9.5 lakh people have recovered so far.

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