As the COVID-19 curfew failed to curb the surging cases in Karnataka, the BS Yediyurappa government has decided to extend complete lockdown in the state for 14 days. The ‘temporary’ extension will remain in place from 6 am on May 10 to 6 am on May 24, the Chief Minister said on Friday.
“All hotels, pubs and bars will remain closed. Eateries, meat shops and vegetable shops can operate from 6 am to 10 am,” Yediyurappa said, requesting migrant labourers to not leave as it is a temporary decision.
“Not a single person will be allowed after 10 am during the lockdown period. I have suggested police officers take stringent action. We have decided this after looking at the death toll and increasing number of cases,” the Chief Minister added.
As per the revised guidelines, one can no longer use vehicles for takeaway, while home delivery services,however, will continue. Public transportation, including RTC buses and Bangalore Metro services, will continue to remain prohibited except for emergencies, like vaccination or for the movement of essential services.
The COVID cases are rising in the state at an alarming proportion despite a lockdown from April 27 to May 12. The state is reporting 44,000 cases and over 200 fatalities daily. The massive spike in cases has led to a subsequent shortage of hospital beds, medical oxygen and life-saving drugs. As the state's healthcare infrastructure faces immense strain due to the COVID-19 situation, extending the lockdown becomes necessary to save more lives.
The decision of lockdown extension comes after the active caseload in Karnataka breached five lakh with 48,781 fresh COVID-19 infections on Friday, while the toll stood at 17,212 with 592 deaths, the health department said. Bengaluru urban district alone reported 23,706 fresh infections and 139 fatalities. Mysuru and Tumakuru emerged as the next major hotspots in Karnataka with 2,531 and 2,418 infections and 18 and 14 fatalities respectively.
According to the bulletin, 1,652 infections were reported in Kalaburagi, 1,526 in Udupi, 1,503 in Hassan, 1,191 in Dakshina Kannada, 963 in Bengaluru Rural and 922 in Ballari. Bagalkote, Belagavi, Chamarajanagar, Davangere, Dharwad, Kodagu, Kolar, Raichur, Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, Vijayapura and Yadgir were among the districts with over 500 infections.
A total of 1,64,441 tests were done on Thursday, including 1,53,370 using the RT PCR and other methods, taking the tally to 2.65 crore, the department added.