BENGALURU: With COVID-19 cases rising in Karnataka over the last three weeks, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will chair a review meeting on Monday.
The meeting set off speculation of a possible lockdown or curfew, but Medical Education and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar told The New Indian Express that the government has no plans of imposing a lockdown for now.
Karnataka is slowly seeing a recovery in economic activity after the lockdown. A new set of restrictions, the Chief Minister believes, will be counter-productive especially when the state is facing an economic slowdown, sources said.
"I appeal to the people with folded hands for cooperation. If people cooperate, I'm confident that without lockdown we can control COVID. My appeal to people is that if you don't want lockdown and want all activities to continue, people have to cooperate by wearing masks and maintaining distance," said Yediyurappa, ahead of the meeting at 5 pm on Monday.
The meeting is aimed at stricter implementation of COVID protocols and restrictions. Yediyurappa is expected to get a briefing on the situation in the border districts of Maharashtra and Kerala by respective district officials.
State to focus on increasing testing
Emphasis will also be on the inoculation drive and increasing testing. "There won't be a lockdown or curfew yet, but people should behave and civic sense has to prevail. Otherwise, the government will be forced to take tough decisions," Dr Sudhakar said, adding that while the number of COVID cases is rising in the state, it is not at an alarming rate.
"We need to quickly inoculate people, at least those eligible now. As per our estimate, the state has around 50 lakh people above the age of 60 and around 14 lakh people above the age of 45 and with comorbidities. Issues like whether restrictions of interstate travel should be extended to a few more states will be discussed at the meeting," he said.
"This war against Coronavirus isn’t over yet. All our efforts over the last one-anda- half years will mean nothing if we let our guard down now. Please wear masks, maintain social distancing, sanitize without neglecting," Yediyurappa said in a statement.
He appealed to citizens to get inoculated if eligible and encourage others to take the vaccine. As on 5 pm on Saturday, 921 new cases were reported in the State taking the total to 9,59,338. Bengaluru has recorded 3,175 cases in the last seven days.
30 test positive in Hosapete Railway quarters
The railway quarters in Hosapete has been declared a red zone, after 30 people, including Railway employees and their relatives, tested positive for COVID-19 in the last one week. The infected workers and their family members are kept in isolation