The Karnataka government has extended the partial lockdown until March 31 across the state as a preventive measure to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19). Malls, cinemas, schools, colleges and night clubs have been shut across the state since Saturday (March 14) as ordered by the Chief Minister, in a bid to reduce crowding as the country witnessed a steady rise in COVID-19 cases. This shutdown will now be extended to March 31. The Chief Minister told the Assembly that the state has recorded 14 positive cases till now. The details of the 14th patient has not been released yet.
The announcement was made by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said. Further funds of Rs 200 crore have been released to mitigate the spread of the disease.
The CM also announced that a task force composed of Health Minister B Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar has been formed to tackle the virus.
All forms of mass gatherings have been restricted with weddings not permitted to have more than 150 guests. Further no political meetings or rallies will be allowed till further orders.
As part of the same order, gyms, swimming pools, have beens shut while summer camps and sporting events were also ordered to be deferred as part of the shutdown.
Information and Bio-Technology (IT/BT) offices have been advised to implement work from home policies.
Meanwhile, the government has asked restaurants to turn off air conditioners as a precautionary measure. Restaurants have also been asked to ensure that chairs are placed with one metre gap to enforce social distancing.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has also issued advisories to apartment associations/ resident welfare associations to ensure steps are taken to ensure that the virus is not spread. People have also been asked to avoid parks and gardens. Those living in paying guest accommodation have been asked to leave for their hometowns and have warned owners of such establishments not to overcrowd.
At present only PU (pre-university)-II and SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) examinations are going on. Teachers are continuing to work at educational institutions to carry out administrative work. The government has not made any announcement regarding teachers working from home.
Incidentally, the Education MInister S Suresh Kumar had also deferred the examinations for students between 7th and 9th standards till March 31 in the wake of the pandemic.
As of date, the number of positive cases stand at 14, including one 76-year-old from Kalaburagi who died of comorbidities. He was incidentally the first coronavirus victim in the country. Out of the other positive cases, two are from Kalaburagiâ€” the deceasedâ€™s daughter, and his doctor. The others are a techie working in Dell, his wife and daughter. The others are a techie working in Mindtree, and another in Google. Three others are a co-passenger of the Mindtree techie, a student returning from the United Kingdom and another woman returning from Dubai.
On Wednesday morning, two more positive cases were confirmed by the state Health Minister B Sriramulu. Among them, one had returned from the United States, and the other woman had gone on vacation in Spain.
The Karnataka government had earlier ordered a partial shutdown until March 21, noting at the time that a decision would be taken on lifting the lock down based on the situation.