BENGALURU: Faced with the alarming rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths in
, the state government on Friday decided to impose a strict statewide lockdown from May 10 to May 24.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa said the 14-day lockdown will start at 6am on May 10 and end at 6am on May 24.
The main differences in the new lockdown guidelines, when compared to existing rules, are that private vehicles will not be allowed to move freely and all intra-state travels between districts, cities and villages will be barred, except for medical and other emergency services.
“Since the 14-day partial lockdown imposed by the state from April 27 failed to yield the desired result in containing the spread of the virus, we are forced to enforce stringent restrictions. Nobody will be allowed to come out on the streets after 10am. We’ll initiate stringent action on those who violate lockdown measures,” said Yediyurappa, after meeting cabinet colleagues, officials and health experts.
Some experts are not happy with the decision to allow people movement to buy groceries, vegetables and other essentials. “When Karnataka imposed a 14-day lockdown from April 27, it allowed people to move freely between 6am and 10am to buy essentials. Many people misused this and started moving around freely, leading to crowds on the streets. The government could have avoided or limited this relaxation and imposed a strict lockdown now,’’ they said.
Weddings and funerals allowed with conditions
Yediyurappa defended the decision: “How can we expect people to live without their daily groceries? Chief secretary P Ravi Kumar said there won’t be crowds since they have banned people from using private vehicles to purchase groceries and especially to get parcels from hotels and liquor shops.”
A member of the state’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee said: “The government should allow people to buy groceries for the next 15 days over this weekend and impose a complete lockdown till May 24. This is important especially when people are dying on the streets.’’ Offices of central and state governments and their autonomous and subordinate offices and public corporations will remain closed, barring offices of health and civic bodies. Any person visiting the state from any other state will have to produce a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours.
Permission will be given to organise weddings with the condition that more than 50 people will not be allowed to participate. Funerals and cremations are allowed with five people. All shops, commercial establishments, malls, cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms, hospitality services, private offices, industries, except those with in-situ staff, will remain shut.
Milk parlours and pushcarts selling vegetables are allowed to operate from 6am to 10am and cabs and autos are allowed to drop and pick up passengers from the airport and railway stations.