On Thursday, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan declared full lockdowns, joining a host of other states that have restricted movement and suspended public gatherings to halt the second wave of coronavirus infections.
Kerala has declared an eight-day state of emergency, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan blaming the development on the “worsening” Covid-19 situation. The state reported 42,464 new infections on Thursday, the highest number since the outbreak began last year.
Though it has the lowest fatality rate in the world (under 0.4 percent), statistics show that it has been gradually increasing in the last week, with 58 deaths registered in the last 24 hours. Kerala ranks third after Maharashtra and Karnataka in terms of total cases of viral infection.
Vijayan tweeted, “The entire state of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong 2nd wave of #COVID19.”
He further added, “Availability of essential articles/services will be ensured. Lockdown is essential to ensure #COVID19 spread is contained and that our lives are secure. Let us all cooperate. We shall overcome.”
The only way to break the chain of transmission and contain Covid-19 cases in Madhya Pradesh, according to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is for people to “close down everything” until May 15.
Chouhan also declared free care for patients from low-income families, common people, and the middle class in Madhya Pradesh, according to a state public relations official.
On Friday, a package under the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme will be launched to help with this. According to the official, the government also intends to sign an agreement with private hospitals to provide free CT scans and other medical tests.
Madhya Pradesh is currently subject to a slew of restrictions aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19.
Health infrastructure is being prepared, according to Chouhan, to cope with a potential third wave of infections. He said, “Oxygen plants are being set up in each district. A total of 95 such plants will be established in the state.”
He requested that officials initiate a “destroy corona programme” in cities and villages, performing door-to-door surveys and finding patients who should begin treatment right away.
To combat the spread of Covid-19, the Rajasthan government has placed a lockdown in the state from May 10 to May 24. Weddings are prohibited in the state until May 31.
Due to a new increase in COVID-19 incidents, the curfew in Uttarakhand’s three high-caseload districts of Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, and Haridwar has been extended until May 10.
The curfew, which went into effect in the last week of April, was supposed to end on Thursday. The order directed the remaining ten district managers to determine the situation in their areas and, if necessary, enforce a curfew from May 6 to May 10 (until 5 a.m.).
At that time, however, there will be no restrictions on inter-state or intra-state travel, according to the decree. Ration shops will be open on alternating days, while milk booths and vegetable shops will only be permitted to open until noon every day.
On Thursday, Uttarakhand had the highest caseload in a single day, with 8,517 new infections detected.