The Kerala government on Thursday announced a complete lockdown in the state from 6 am on May 8 to May 16. “This is in the background of a strong second wave of Covid-19,” Chief Minister Pinrayi Vijayan tweeted.

Strict restrictions, including night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am, were already in place in the state till May 9. On April 30, The state government had announced that residents should use double masks in public places.

On Wednesday, Kerala reported 41,593 Covid-19 positive cases and 58 fatalities as the state’s test positivity rate was recorded at 25.69%, reported The Hindu. As of Thursday morning, Kerala had 37,6004 active coronavirus cases, 13,62,363 patients recovered and 5,565 deaths.

On Wednesday, Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting the central government to provide at least 1,000 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen, along with 50 lakh doses of Covishield and 25 lakh doses of Covaxin – the two vaccines being used in India – to Kerala.

The chief minister also sought the installation of Pressure Swing Adsorption oxygen plants in the state and more supplies of oxygen concentrators and ventilators on a priority basis, considering that Kerala had one of the highest active caseloads in the country. Vijayan told Modi that since the overall projected requirement of liquid medical oxygen was rising, the buffer storage within the state needed to be increased urgently.

Vijayan also said that the Centre could consider partial allotment from the current tranche of imports and balance from future imports. The Union government could also consider allotting 500 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen from the nearest steel plant to the state, the chief minister suggested.

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