Karnataka lockdown extended till March 31: CM BSY

Karnataka lockdown extended till March 31: CM BS Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. (PTI Photo)

The existing lockdown in Karnataka to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has been extended till March 31, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced on Wednesday. 

On March 13, the government ordered the closure of malls, theatres, multiplexes, clubs and pubs and other commercial establishments where people gather in large numbers for a week. The government also declared a holiday for colleges and universities.

“The conditions and directions have been extended till March 31,” Yediyurappa informed the Legislative Assembly after an emergency Cabinet meeting where the COVID-19 situation was discussed at length. 

The Cabinet has decided to form a task force dedicated to tackle the COVID-19 epidemic. The task force will have Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar. “It will function under Sriramulu. It will meet everyday to review the situation and inform the public,” Yediyurappa said. 

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The Cabinet also decided to “immediately” set aside Rs 200 crore to meet the expenses in tackling COVID-19.

All international passengers will be screened and isolated for 15 to 16 days, the CM said. “Steps will also be taken to restrict public entry into the Vidhana Soudha and Vikas Soudha (Secretariat),” he said. “No mass events should be held. It will be insisted that if such events are to be held, it must be restricted to 100 to 200 people.” 

The Cabinet, according to the CM, also took stock of bird flu, swine fever and Kyasanur Forest Disease. “Bird flu is in Mandya, Mysuru and Davangere, swine fever is almost everywhere and Kyasanur Forest Disease is in Uttara Kannada, Chikmagalur and Shivamogga - it was decided to put a special focus on this,” said Yediyurappa.

Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said that all international passengers arriving in Karnataka would be stamped on the right hand to identify them as having travelled overseas. “Primary and secondary contacts will be monitored and this is a measure to contain the spread," Sudhakar said. "They will not be in touch with anyone for 15 days. The COVID-19 is dangerously spreading. But there’s no need to panic. We need precautions.”

As many as 1,17,306 travellers have been screened, the minister said.

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