BENGALURU: The BS Yediyurappa government on Monday decided to lock down the entire state, following a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Restrictions that were limited to nine districts since Monday will now be extended to all districts of Karnataka.
The lockdown of the entire state will continue till the midnight of March 31 for now.
“After assessing the situation of #covid_19, we have decided to lockdown not just 9 districts but the whole state of Karnataka starting Tuesday till March 31st. I request all citizens to cooperate and please stay indoors. #CoronaInKarnataka #fightagainstcorona, (SIC)” tweeted Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
After assessing the situation of #covid_19, we have decided to lockdown not just 9 districts but the whole state of Karnataka starting tomorrow till March 31st. I request all citizens to co operate and please stay indoors.#CoronaInKarnataka #fightagainstcorona— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) March 23, 2020
“Please note that there is NO need for bulk buying, hoarding or any sort of panic. Food supply and grocery shops will be open for all as usual. Your cooperation is extremely important here and we can fight this,” Yediyurappa added.
Meanwhile, the State government has stepped up measures to further contain the spread of coronavirus.
Please note that there is NO need for bulk buying, hoarding or any sort of panic. Food supply and grocery shops will be open for all as usual. Your co operation is extremely important here and we can fight this.#Covid_19 #CoronaInKarnataka#fightagainstcorona— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) March 23, 2020
The government has also warned of penal action against those violating mandatory quarantine. For the first time since the outbreak, the government had a dialogue with private hospitals to moot the idea of joining resources, efforts and facilities to counter the deadly virus.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday held meetings with representatives and heads of private hospitals and doctors. Following the meeting, the State government has decided to ramp up an additional 1,200-bed facility to exclusively treat COVID- 19 patients in tandem with private hospitals, under a PPP model.
This facility will be in addition to the specialised facility at Government-owned Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru.
“Our only worry is on how to quarantine the large number of people who have come in contact with those affected. The doctors have suggested a complete shutdown. They have also asked to start fever clinics where preliminary checkups will be done. Thirty fever clinics will be started across the state,” Yediyurappa said.
The private hospitals are also said to have agreed to spare the services of doctors and clinical staff working in their hospitals, apart from sparing 100 ventilators.
“Government is keen not only to tackle and prevent the spread of the virus, it is even serious on creating the infrastructure needed to treat the patients. My sincere and serious appeal to the people staying in urban centres is not to visit villages and hamlets which are till today free from COVID-19,” the Chief Minister added.
Keeping in mind the urban poor, the Karnataka government has decided to provide free food at Indira canteens to daily wage workers. “
Any person violating mandatory quarantine will be booked and faces jail time from 6 months up to one year,” warned Basavraj Bommai, Home Minister.
The state has issued fresh regulations for nine districts currently under lockdown.
All foreign-returned persons have to practise self-quarantine, failing which they will be liable to be booked under IPC Sec 188 and sent to a government quarantine facility.
While compelling IT & BT companies to encourage work from home, Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said the government is working towards increasing broadband speeds to ensure no disruption.
The State government is also in talks with a Mysuru- based company to procure masks and protective gear, but most importantly 1,000 ventilators on an immediate basis.
PRIVATE VEHICLES WARNED
Stringent action against private vehicle operators, including buses, if government directions imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus are violated