As COVID cases increase, Kerala, India orders lockdown | Coronavirus pandemic news

The number of active cases in this southern state is approximately 154,000, accounting for 37% of the total number of cases in India.

The southern Indian state of Kerala announced a two-day lockdown as federal authorities plan to send experts to fight the spread of infection in the country’s main COVID-19 hotspots.

After a devastating second wave that overwhelmed the healthcare system, India’s daily cases have fallen, and vaccination efforts are making progress.

But experts warned the authorities not to reopen the city too soon.

The number of active cases in Kerala is approximately 154,000, accounting for 37.1% of the total number of active cases in India. Its positive rate of cases indicates the rate of transmission of the infection, which is now the highest in the country.

The state’s disaster management department said in a statement announcing a “complete lockdown” from Sunday: “Especially strict restrictions are being implemented in areas with a high positive rate.”

Government data released earlier this week showed that in the past 4 weeks, the number of new infections in 7 out of 14 districts in Kerala showed an upward trend.

On Thursday, the federal government said it would send six experts to monitor the worst-hit areas in Kerala and work with state authorities to develop strategies to control the epidemic.

The Indian central government has left the decision to block and reopen to the local state authorities, resulting in an unbalanced response. Experts say this has led to the development of new hotspots, even if the infection rate in the center of the epidemic has declined.

India reported 43,509 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours on Thursday, bringing the total to 31.53 million, but experts believe the actual number may be much higher.

The cumulative number of infections is second only to the United States.

Official statistics show that the western state of Maharashtra is the industrial center of India and the state that suffered the most from the second devastating wave. It is the second most affected state in the country, accounting for more than 20% of the total number of cases. .

Maharashtra started lifting its blockade and restrictions last month to revive the economy.

On July 24, the reproduction rate or R value of COVID-19 in India reached 1 for the first time since May, when the number of daily infections was close to the peak of 400,000, which increased the risk of the infection spreading faster.

Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, said on Twitter: “As we open up the country, it is expected that (R value) will increase.”

“Where it starts depends on the public and policymakers.”

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