BENGALURU: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday laid all speculation over another lockdown or night curfews in Karnataka to rest, insisting that no decision has been taken. He said that the status quo will continue in Karnataka for another week and any decision will be arrived at only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video-conference with Chief Ministers on March 17.
With cases on the rise in Karnataka, the technical advisory committee on Covid-19 at a meeting on Monday informed the chief minister that the surge could be a precursor to the second wave of infections in the State and measures needed to be taken immediately to control its spread. “The technical committee emphasised that Covid preventive measures and safety protocols need to be followed. Masks and social distancing are mandatory.
Awareness among people has worn off and if this continues, we will be compelled to take action. We will have to restart slapping fines on people for not wearing masks. For now, there will be no lockdown or night curfew or restriction of any kind, but people have to cooperate with the government,” Yediyurappa said, adding that his government will study the situation for another week and then take a decision on reviewing the interstate travel regulation. He said that along with the vaccination drive, tracing and tracking mechanisms will also be revived and shopkeepers, bus drivers and conductors etc with symptoms will be tested on priority.
‘Be responsible, avoid lockdown’
“Travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala will be monitored closely. They have to carry RT-PCR report. There will be no change in the status of schools, businesses or hotels. If people want to ensure that the economic activity continues to bloom in Karnataka and avoid a lockdown, then they must be responsible,” the CM added. The government has also asked private hospitals to accommodate Covid patients and treat them like earlier.
Modi will hold a video-conference with chief ministers on March 17 -- almost a year after the ‘Janata Curfew’. Government sources said that Karnataka is set to lobby for lowering the vaccination age limit and extend it to a larger group of citizens. “All other decisions will be taken after the video-conference with the Prime Minister,” Yediyurappa added.