Express News Service
BENGALURU: Starting 6 am on Monday, a near-complete lockdown will be enforced across Karnataka. With 592 Covid-19 deaths reported on Friday, the highest so far, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa acknowledged that the ‘Corona Curfew’, that is in force, had been ineffective and hence, there was a need to implement more stringent restrictions.
A 14-day lockdown has been announced from May 10 till 6 AM on May 24 in the state. Vehicular movement will be strictly prohibited in a bid to stop people from getting on to the roads. While goods vehicles and home delivery service providers are exempted, the use of personal vehicles will be prohibited even to buy essentials or takeaways.
“The second wave of Covid-19 is wreaking havoc across the state. The ‘Corona Curfew’ hasn’t yielded expected results in reducing the spread of infection and death rate. Therefore, the government has decided to impose a complete lockdown to check the spread of the disease and deaths,” said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa before announcing the 14-day lockdown.
Soon after the CM’s press conference, Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar clarified that it wasn’t a “lockdown”, but “additional stringent measures”. He added that the prohibition of vehicular movement and industries were the biggest changes in the new guidelines. “Vehicle movement was allowed so far, but starting Monday it won’t be. One has to walk even to buy essentials from neighbourhood shops or food from hotels. No vehicles will be allowed, but hotels can use vehicles for home delivery.
No vehicular movement will be allowed except in case of emergencies or to catch scheduled flights and trains. Industries were earlier allowed to function, but now only those that have in-situ staff will be allowed. E-commerce will be allowed,” Ravi Kumar said, adding that there won’t be any vehicle pass system.
Pharmacies, banks allowed in lockdown
Yediyurappa on Friday morning had insisted that a lockdown would become inevitable, given the number of cases in the state and announced it later in the evening. During a meeting of ministers and officials in the day, the CM asked for a detailed ‘impact assessment report on last year’s lockdown for cues. The decision to allow pushcart vendors till 6 pm, in-situ construction and industrial production were taken based on the report.
“In-situ construction and industrial production is allowed. I appeal to labourers not to rush back to their hometowns,” Yediyurappa said in his announcement. Essential services like pharmacies, chemists, fuel stations, banks, ATMs, government offices, etc., will be allowed during the lockdown. Medical supply production units, agriculture and allied activities, food processing industry, public utilities like electricity and water boards will remain open.