Even as residents in Bengaluru await clarification on whether the lockdown will be extended further, TNM has reliably learnt that Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa is expected to announce lifting of the lockdown with restrictions on movement limited to 8pm to 5am. A week-long lockdown was imposed in Bengaluru on July 14 until 5am on July 22.
CM Yediyurappa is expected to address the people of the state via YouTube live at 5pm on Tuesday, where he will also detail the guidelines to be followed henceforth. Every Saturday will remain a state government holiday and Sunday lockdowns are expected to stay.
All departments in charge, including Health and Home, have been instructed to lay greater emphasis on strict implementation of the guidelines put forth, said sources to TNM.
The Chief Minister had reportedly sought the opinion of the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office (PMO) too on the matter of extending the lockdown and has been informed to avoid harsh restrictions on the public.
According to sources privy to details of the meeting that the CM chaired on Monday, most of the ministers put in charge of handling the COVID-19 situation in the city spoke in favour of extending the lockdown, at least by another week.
The CM, who has been against lockdowns for over two months now, questioned the ministers on what purpose an extension would serve. He also asked them to detail what measures each of them would put in place, which would improve the situation when the lockdown is lifted.
Yediyurappa was persuaded for the idea of the one-week lockdown, as per sources in the CMO, with the promise of strengthening and stabilising both processes and infrastructure so as to be in a position to handle the burgeoning number of COVID-19 cases in the capital city.
The ministers have been instructed to follow up on all complaints and concerns highlighted in the media and ensure the loopholes are fixed. He has also sought a daily report on the state with real time updates.
A task force headed by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad has been formed to formulate strategies for containment and reduction of mortality in the city.
As yet another task force has been formed in, the CM has also fixed specific responsibilities for the eight ministers. Over the last few months, as the number of positive cases in the state rose, the Chief Minister was unable to derive answers from the ministers as most of them were evasive, passing the buck to each other. With the new responsibilities, BSY has demanded better accountability from his cabinet colleagues.
On Monday, the state reported 3648 cases with 1452 of them being reported from Bengaluru. The capital city has 24,574 active cases presently, while 698 patients have succumbed to the virus so far.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka has gone up to 67,420. Out of this, 42,216 patients are being treated presently across the state. Karnatakaâ€™s death toll due to COVID-19 is 1403.