Restrictions construction and industrial activity will be relaxed in non-hotspot districts.

Karnataka withdraws order allowing two-wheelers and IT companies to work after April 20Representative image from PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 21:50

The Karnataka government has withdrawn its decision to allow movement of two-wheelers from April 20. The revised decision by the government, released late on Saturday evening, says that the ban on two-wheeler movement will continue. Essential services within the information technology and biotechnology industries may be exempted, while others are to continue working from home.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced new measures to ease lockdown restrictions after April 20, including movement of two-wheelers and construction work, in a press conference on Saturday.

“We had a meeting this morning about COVID-19 with all the ministers and it's a reassuring situation,” he said. During the meeting, decisions were made regarding the activities to be permitted in non-containment zones.

The relaxations will not occur in the eight hotspot districts in the state. These include Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru, Belagavi, and districts with clusters including Dakshina Kannada, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Bagalkote and Dharwad.

As of Saturday, there are 384 cases in the state, 14 deaths and 104 recoveries.

While the number of cases spiked in recent days, the number of new cases dropped marginally to 25 new cases on Saturday. “We can see that the cases are declining. I spoke to the district commissioners, and they all said that it will come in control by today, and we should just be a little patient,” he said.

However, the Chief Minister noted that people are getting restless. “Complaints of lockdown violations are increasing. I have asked them to be more strict and keep the lockdown until April 20. In those places which have been listed as places with COVID-19 cases with containment zones, people should not even be stepping out of their homes. Even if they need essential commodities, we will bring it to their homes. From now on, we will be very strict and not issue any more passes. However, after 20 April, we will ease restrictions in non-containment zones,” he said.

In containment zones, a buffer zone within a three-kilometre radius will be subjected to medical check-ups.

However, inter-district travel will not be allowed, though Bengaluru and Ramanagara district could be, for this purpose, considered as one district as there is more movement of construction materials and workers to the city.

Section 144 will remain in place until May 3, the CM said.

The lockdown easing measures (after April 20) that were announced include:

> An incident commander will be appointed in each containment zone, and assisted by police and health officials. These commanders, who will have magisterial powers, will be responsible for maintaining crowd movement and providing basic amenities. 

> For transportation of construction materials and construction work, permission is not required. Transportation of sand and stones can take place.

> If the workers are on site, then building construction activities can continue in the city.

> Industrial areas in rural places, SEZ and townships can start working.

> 33 percent of the workforce of government departments will be allowed to work. They can travel in contract buses that will be hired exclusively for them.

> No more new shops will be allowed to open. Malls, showrooms will remain closed.

> Wearing masks will be mandatory.

> Senior citizens and persons vulnerable to disease should remain indoors for next three months.

> Spitting in public places is banned.

Note: This story has been edited to reflect the revised decision of the Karnataka government to continue banning two-wheeler movement.

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