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COVID-19 Outbreak: Karnataka Govt Hints At Lockdown Extension In Red Districts

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has indicated that lockdown extension would continue in COVID-19 red zones, while exemption would be given for green districts.

COVID-19

With a continuous rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country, speculations are rife regarding yet another extension of the nationwide lockdown. As per reports, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has indicated that the lockdown might be extended in COVID-19 red zones, while exemption would be given for green districts to resume economic activities. The state has 10 districts in the red zone, 10 in the orange or yellow zone, and the rest (10 districts) in the green zone.  

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The meeting came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conferencing with Chief Ministers to discuss the situation arising due to COVID-19 in the country, which is under lockdown since March 25 to contain the pandemic. Only nine chief ministers spoke in the virtual meeting with the Prime Minister and Yediyurappa did not get an opportunity.

Yediyurappa on Monday chaired a meeting with key ministers, officials, and Deputy Commissioners of districts and discussed re-starting economic activities in the state, as he took stock about the pandemic. The state government would take any decision in this regard after the Centre issues fresh guidelines or directives, official sources said, without elaborating.

"At the video conference with DCs, CM took stock of COVID-19 situation and measures taken to control its spread. Discussions also happened regarding the starting of certain economic activities in parts of the state," they said.

A senior minister, who attended the meeting said the larger opinion was that the current measures should continue and interstate or inter-district movement should not be allowed. Regarding movement within the districts that are green zone, some decision may be taken soon, he said, adding the Prime Minister also asked states to concentrate on reforms, aimed at attracting investments in the days to come. 

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PM-CMs meet

In the meeting with PM Modi, the leaders discussed at length the results of the two lockdowns and also talked about measures that need to be undertaken regarding exit plans post-May 3. According to the official statement, the Chief Ministers praised the leadership of the Prime Minister during this period of crisis, and also highlighted the efforts undertaken by them in containing the virus. Several states including Karnataka vouched for further extending the lockdown till at least May 15 as India has not been able to break the chain of transmission so far. 

According to the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department’s bulletin the State’s total tally of cases to 512. The total death toll in the State is 20 and 193 have been treated and discharged. Of the remaining 299 cases, 294 are in isolation at designated hospitals and five are in ICU.

India had first entered the lockdown on March 25, for a period of 3 weeks till April 14. But, the rampant spread of the novel coronavirus forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend the lockdown till May 3.

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(with agencies input)

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