Thiruvananthapuram: After reviewing the COVID situation in the state, the Kerala government on Tuesday decided to extend the Covid-19 lockdown by another week as the state continues to more than 7,000 new cases every day. However, the state on Monday recorded for the first time in more than two months a drop in active cases below the one lakh mark, while the test positivity rate (TPR) slipped below 10 per cent. The move to extend the lockdown was taken in the Covid review meeting held on Tuesday.Also Read - UP Becomes First State to Clock 5 Crore Vaccination Mark As India Administers Over 48 crore Doses So Far

According to a report by Matrubhumi, the lockdown restrictions will be intensified in places where the test positivity rate is high. Even as the test positivity rate dropped below 10 percent in some places in the state, people have been asked to remain vigilant. Also Read - Odisha: Bhubaneshwar Claims to be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Saying that if more relaxations are announced, the disease is likely to spread again, the health department said that the state will not to give more relaxations at the moment. Also Read - Maharashtra Lockdown: Section 144 Imposed in Mumbai, BMC Says Night Curfew to Continue Till 5 AM Daily | Full List of Guidelines Here

Issuing fresh guidelines, the state government said the worship centres will be reopened in places with test positivity rate less than 16. However, only 15 people will be allowed to enter the worship centres.

Earlier in the day, the Union Health Ministry advised Kerala and other states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on the Delta Plus Variant, which is currently a Variant of Concern (VOC).

“The states should take up immediate containment measures, enhanced testing, tracking and vaccination in districts and clusters where the Delta Plus variant is found. Adequate samples of positive persons must be promptly sent to designated laboratories of INSACOG so that the clinical epidemiological correlations can be made,” the Centre said.

On Tuesday, Kerala recorded 12,617 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the caseload to 28,29,510, while 141 more deaths pushed the toll to 12,295, the state government said. As many as 11,730 people recovered from the disease, taking the overall recoveries to 27,16,284. Active cases stood at 1,00,437.

Malappuram recorded the highest number of 1,603 cases, followed by Kollam with 1,525 and Ernakulam 1,491, a health department bulletin said.

Of the new cases, 72 were health workers, 60 from outside the state and 11,719 were infected through contact, it said.