Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday asked the people of Bengaluru to cooperate in following the measures taken to control the coronavirus, if they did not want another lockdown enforced in the city, PTI reported. The chief minister said he will confer with his Cabinet ministers as well as legislators from all parties on Thursday and Friday to seek their opinion and discuss measures taken to control the pandemic.
“I urge people to maintain social distancing and sanitisation if they don’t want the city to be sealed again,” Yediyurappa said, according to ANI. “Today we’ve called a ministers and officials meeting where further handling of situation will be discussed. In Bengaluru, we’ve arranged all facilities to treat Covid-19 patients.” He said due to the lack of adherence to social distancing measures, the virus has spread to slums and other congested areas in the city.
Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu had said on Tuesday that the government may have to think about reimposing a lockdown in Bengaluru if the current spurt in cases continues. On Wednesday, Bengaluru reported 173 new cases and five deaths. The total number of cases is 1,678, including 78 deaths.
On Monday, Yediyurappa had directed civic officials to impose lockdown measures more strictly in certain clusters in the city, which have reported greater numbers of coronavirus infections. However, on Thursday, the chief minister called Bengaluru a “model city” compared to other cities in the country. “We have not yet lost control,” he said.
But Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka ruled out the possibility of a complete lockdown in the city, the Hindustan Times reported. Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan cautioned that reimposition of a full lockdown could stifle economic activity once again.
“That’s [full lockdown] a suggestion by many Opposition leaders,” Narayan said. “At present that question doesn’t arise. Revival of economy has just started. Livelihood is very essential. If you go back, I think it becomes very difficult and people will face problems.”
Malls, hotels, religious places have reopened from June 8, and bus services have restarted in all of Karnataka, except in containment zones, under the “Unlock 1” phase.