There is no proposal to extend the week-long lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural districts to be enforced from Tuesday night to check rising COVID-19 case, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Monday, appealing to the people to cooperate and not pay heed to rumors.
The clarification seeks to put at rest speculations that lockdown may be extended beyond July 22. The rumours gained momentum as some Ministers had also indicated such a course.
"The Chief Minister held COVID task force meeting. There is no proposal before the government to extend the one week long lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural. The Chief Minister has appealed people to cooperate without worrying and paying heed to rumors," his office said in a tweet.
With a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past weeks, the state government has announced complete lockdown in the two districts from Tuesday 8 PM to July 22 5 AM.
Bengaluru Urban tops the districts in the number of coronavirus cases with an infection count of 18,387 out of the state's tally of 38,843.
Out of 2,627 fresh cases, highest so far, reported in the state on Sunday, a whopping 1,525 were from Bengaluru Urban.
Yediyurappa said the lockdown was being clamped to control the number of coronavirus cases and instructed officials to make all steps for addressing any shortfalls in the existing containment arrangements.
Meanwhile, Dharwad and Dakshina Kannada districts have also announced lockdowns aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.
While Dharwad will be under lockdown for 9 days from July 15, in Dakshina Kannada it will be for a week from Wednesday night.
The announcement was made by Dharwad and Dakshina Kannada district in-charge Ministers Jagadish Shettar and Kota Srinivas Poojary respectively, stating that the Chief Minister during a videoconference with district authorities has said respective district administration can take such decision based on the situation.
Till Sunday, Dharwad had a total 1,088 cases, and Dakshina Kannada 2,222.
After the government announced lockdown in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts, JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and Congress working president Eshwar Khandre had demanded it be extended to the entire state.
Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa chaired a virtual meet with Deputy Commissioners, Zilla Panchayat CEOs and Superintendent of Police of various districts regarding COVID situation and rain situation in the state.
He asked the officials to give priority to rapid antigen tests and said one lakh kits have been procured and distributed to the districts.
Noting that Bengaluru Urban, Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad, Udupi, Ballari and Kalaburagi have been reporting more cases, he said, COVID-19 fatalities were rising in Bidar, Dharwad, Gadag and Mysuru.
Measures have to be taken to control this, he said and sought a death audit report from experts.
Strict measures have to be enforced in containment zones, he said, as he asked the officials to appoint staff on contract basis for six months, wherever there is a shortage.
He also asked officials to take strict actions against hospitals that deny treatment for COVID or non COVID patients, and to ensure there was no shortage of beds or ambulances.
Constitution of booth level committees for micromanagement, identification of those above the age of 60 with serious ailments, influenza like illness (ILI) cases and breathing issues and screening them for COVID-19 and increasing tests in containment zones were among the other suggestions made by the chief minister, a release from his office said.
A report from Mangaluru said Minister Poojary in a video message, appealed to the citizens to maintain social distance and take all other precautions.
We are implementing the lockdown taking into consideration the suggestions from peoples representatives and also the public. I request everyone to cooperate with the administration, he said.