Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday announced a two-week lockdown in the state from 9 pm on Tuesday, The News Minute reported. The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting after consulting the state’s expert committee, Yediyurappa said. The Cabinet also decided to provide coronavirus vaccines free of cost at government hospitals for those between 18 to 45 years of age.
The decision came a day after Karnataka reported 34,804 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday in the highest single-day rise since the outbreak of pandemic in January last year. The count rose by more than 5,000, as compared to the 29,438 cases on Saturday.
The government used the term “close down” for the restrictions. However, on being asked why it was not called a lockdown, Yediurappa told reporters: “You can interpret it however you want. We have clearly stated what measures we want to bring into effect.”
Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the measures imposed were important and not the term by which it was addressed, PTI reported. Yediyurappa added that the restrictions will be continued if the surge in coronavirus cases is not brought under control.
The chief minister assured that there will be no more shortages of oxygen in the state as the Centre has decided to increase supply of the gas from 300 metric tonnes to 800 metric tonnes, The News Minute reported. He also said that the central government has increased Karnataka’s allocation of remdesivir injections, used to treat critical coronavirus patients, from 50,000 vials to 1,22,000.
“More than 12,000 buses have been arranged by our three transport corporations to enable a significant number of people to return to their homes,” said Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman S Savadi, reported ANI. “These buses will be operated from Bengaluru to other parts of the state.”
List of what is allowed and what is barred in lockdown:
- Essential services will be allowed and shops selling such commodities will remain open from 6 am to 10 am.
- Only flights and trains scheduled will continue to operate during this period. Flight and train tickets shall serve as the pass for movement of persons by taxis/cab aggregators/autorickshaws to board flight and trains.
- Schools, colleges, educational/coaching institutions etc will remain closed. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged. However, examination already scheduled shall be permitted with strict compliance to national Covid directives.
- All cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms, sports complexes and other similar public places will remain closed.
- Agriculture, construction and manufacturing sector (except garment industry) will be allowed to function.
- Inter-state transport of goods will be allowed.
- Takeaway from restaurants and home delivery will be allowed. Standalones alcohol stores will be allowed to operate for takeaway only between 6 am and 10 am. Funerals will have to restrict the number to five.
- Banking services will also be permitted to function.
- Public transportation, including Road Transport Corporation buses and Bangalore Metro services, will not function. This includes cab aggregators, except when hired for emergencies and as permitted in the guidelines.
- All religious places/places of worship should also be closed for the public.
- All social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions/other gatherings and large assemblies have been prohibited. However, weddings will be permitted with a maximum of 50 attendants.
- All central and state governments will be allowed to operate.
- Print and electronic media will be allowed to function.
Last week, the Karnataka government had imposed a weekend curfew and night curfew across the state to contain the surge in coronavirus cases.