Hours after Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa announcing that there is no question of any more lockdowns, the government came out with detailed guidelines on Tuesday as part of unlock-again.
The government order said night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am will continue to be in place instead of the earlier 8pm to 5am. Sunday curfew through the day as announced earlier will also continue — at least until August 8.
The government however introduced two measures to ward off crowds. People can use public parks but not use open gyms and benches installed there. In addition to this, vegetable markets in all cities and towns will be moved to larger spaces in the suburbs in each town where crowds can be restricted.
Earlier, as part of a briefing, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday said as he ruled out extension of the week-long shutdown in the city and elsewhere, saying that lockdown is not the solution for controlling COVID-19 and resource mobilisation equally important for a government to function. He, however, had said that strict measures will continue in containment zones.
Addressing the people of the state, he stressed on maintaining social distancing and wearing masks and said experts have advised 5T strategy- trace, track, test, treat and technology - to control the coronavirus spread. The one week lockdown announced in Bengaluru and four other districts will also end on Wednesday.
"Lockdown is not a solution to contain Covid-19. People must wear mask and ensure social distancing at all times," he said.
During his address to the state he also said that the issues around scarcity of ambulance and hospital beds is being sorted out.
11230 beds have been reserved for Covid patients in Bengaluru. 741 of them are in government hospitals, 819 in government medical colleges, 4836 in private hospitals and 2624 in Covid care centers, he said adding that only 5% of the total cases require ICU/ventilators.
While 98% of those who have tested positive have recovered, one must not take the extreme step of suicide, he added.
Henceforth, results of samples taken will be available within 24 hours.
The Chief Minister also said that he held discussions with officials of all districts where cases are on the rise but lockdown must not be solution. Instead, wearing of masks and social distancing must be ensured.
Lockdown will continue in containment zones where only essential sevices will be available.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) today announced they will operate the buses but in limited numbers with caution and restrictions.
Amid a spike in cases, Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts were brought under "complete lockdown" from 8 pm of July 14 to 5 am on Wednesday aimed at controlling the spread.
A few other districts too had announced lockdown during this period after the cases increased since June 1 when the Unlock-1 phase started and people stranded in other states and foreign countries returned to Karnataka. During the speech, he also responded to opposition Congress' allegation of misappropriation in the purchase of COVID care equipment and said "not even a rupee has been misused."
Opposition leaders were free to examine the documents and the government was ready to share it with them, he said. As of Monday evening, cumulatively 67,420 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 1,403 deaths and 23,795 discharges. Bengaluru Urban tops the districts with a total of 33,229 infections.
(With inputs from Deepa Balakrishnan)