On expected lines with the Covid positive cases continuing its surge like never before, the office of the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday announced a total lockdown from Saturday till May 16.

Minister for Transport A.K. Saseendran confirmed that the state had no other option but to go for total lockdown given the surge.

“This is the only way out and it will only benefit all of us. So all have to abide by it and stay home,” said Saseendran.

President of the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association, Vijayakrishnan said there is no way out other than for strict lockdown.

The IMA State wing also had wanted tough protocols, but an all party meeting held last week however decided to wait and was against declaring a total lockdown.

“This lockdown is different from the one which we had the last year as then the number of cases was very less, but the situation now is grave as the numbers are going high by the day. This lockdown will certainly help us bring down the new cases,” said Vijayakrishnan.

Vijayan on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the spike in cases and said 41,953 people turned Covid positive after 1,63,321 samples were tested in the past 24 hours.

The TPR on Wednesday stood at 25.68 per cent and the total number of active positive cases in the state stood at 3,75,658, while 23,106 people were cured taking the total cured to 13,62,363.

Since the end of last month as a first step, Saturdays and Sundays were like a partial lockdown and from Tuesday onwards such a condition was extended, when on Thursday the new decision came for a total lockdown.