Thiruvananthapuram | Jagran News Desk: The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala on Friday announced that the Sunday lockdown would continue in the state in wake of the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases, reported news agency ANI. The state government had lifted the lockdown for the last couple of weeks due to the upcoming festive season.

This comes a day after the Union Health Ministry asked the Kerala government reconsider imposing night curfew and increase the pace of the anti-COVID-19 vaccination to control the massive spike in daily coronavirus cases.

"This would require adequate intervention in geographical areas having higher infection, through measures such as contact tracing, vaccination drives and COVID-appropriate behaviour," the Health Ministry said, as reported by Reuters.

India on Friday reported 44,658 new COVID-19 cases, out of which 30,007 positives were recorded from Kerala. As per the Health Ministry, Kerala has accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the new cases in the past week and more than half of the total active cases, followed by 16 per cent in the western state of Maharashtra.

Though the southern state has emerged as COVID-19 hotspot in India, Chief Minister Vijayan, who won the recently concluded assembly elections in Kerala in May, has rejected the criticism of his government and termed it "unwanted".

In an article published in the latest edition of "Chintha" weekly, one of the mouthpiece publications of the ruling CPI(M), Vijayan has claimed that not even a single person died in Kerala due to oxygen shortage, adding that the state's COVID-19 mortality rate is less than 0.5 per cent.

"Those who criticise the government are not unaware that the second wave of the disease had started a bit late compared to many other places and that the number of people who are at the risk of contracting the disease is high in Kerala," he said, as reported by news agency PTI.

"But, they are deliberately creating confusion among people by concealing all these. This is an attempt to undermine the support extended by people for the government's fight against the disease," he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma