Karnataka lockdown comes into force from today; Kerala imposes more stringent restrictions following spike in COVID situation

The Karnataka Government announced  lockdown across the State for 14 days starting from 9 pm today. Only essential services would be open from 6am to 10 am for the next two weeks, Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa announced this yesterday soon after a cabinet meeting. There would be no public transport in the State and metro trains would not operate in the Bengaluru city. The Chief Minister further said that all industries except manufacturing would remain closed, and the garment industries which hire lakhs of employees in the State would also remain closed.  The Chief Minister said that all agriculture related activities would be allowed in rural areas. Agricultural markets in cities will function only for a limited period in the morning. Mr. Yediyurappa said the decisions were taken after hectic consultation with an expert committee and ministers during a three hour long cabinet meeting. Karnataka recorded more than 34,000 covid cases on Sunday, and of which more than 20,000 were from Bengaluru.

Kerala has imposed more stringent restrictions following the COVID situation which continued to worsen as the state recorded 21,890 new cases in the past twenty four hours. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has expressed deep concern over the Covid scenario.  Talking to the media Mr Vijayan said,  it is agreed in the all party meeting held yesterday, not to have a complete lockdown in the State, instead stricter restrictions will be imposed. Theatres, malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, amusement parks, bars, and foreign liquor shops will be closed  temporarily. Strict control will be imposed on all places of worship. Shops and other establishments will be functional only till 7.30 PM. On May 2nd, the counting day of assembly polls,  public demonstrations and mass gatherings will be completely avoided and Public will not be allowed to enter the counting centers.

Meanwhile the State heath department  decided to allow discharge of mild and moderate category of covid patients without negative rapid antigen test  to avoid pressure on hospitals and to leave  the bed care facility for critical patients. Those with mild symptoms should continue in home quarantine for 17 days. The State has over two lakh thirty two thousand active Covid cases presently and the test positivity rate is 22.71 percent.


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