The BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government on May 7 extended the lockdown across the state till May 24. The lockdown was originally imposed from April 26 to May 12, and has been extended by two more weeks. As per the revised guidelines, one can no longer use vehicles for takeaway. Home delivery services however will continue. As earlier, public transportation, including RTC buses and Bangalore Metro services, will continue to remain prohibited except for emergencies, like getting vaccinated or for the movement of those employed in essential services. Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, and animal fodder shall be allowed to function from 6 am to 10 am.
Only scheduled flights and trains will continue to operate during this period. Flight and train tickets shall serve as the passes for movement of persons by personal vehicles/taxis/cab aggregators/auto rickshaws to board flight and trains.
Hotels, restaurants, and hospitality services, except those meant for housing health/police/ Government officials/ healthcare workers/stranded persons including tourists, quarantine facility and Step Down Hospitals are prohibited. However, hotels, restaurants and eateries shall be permitted to operate kitchens for takeaway/home delivery of food items only. No vehicles will be allowed to be used by persons for taking parcels/takeaway. Only movement by walk is allowed for this purpose. However, hotels, restaurants and eateries can use vehicles for home delivery.
Movement of passenger and private vehicles have also been banned. Only patients and their attendants/persons requiring emergency need for movement shall be allowed to move. Movement for the purpose of vaccination and testing shall be permitted with minimal proof.
Sale of vegetables and fruits through push carts is allowed from 6 am to 6 pm. Milk booths and Hopcom outlets are allowed from 6 am to 6 pm. Home delivery of essential items shall be encouraged 24x7 to minimize movement of individuals outside their homes.
Delivery of all items through E-Commerce and home delivery is also allowed.
Goods will be allowed to be transported from one state to another. Home delivery of items has been encouraged 24x7 to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.
Standalone liquor shops and outlets will be allowed to open for take away only and will be open only from 6 am to 10 am. All food processing and related industries, banks, insurance offices and ATMs, and print and electronic media will be allowed to function.
For more details on what is allowed and what remains prohibited, read: Karnataka lockdown details: Shops to be open 6 am-10 am, no public transport to ply
The statewide lockdown was first announced by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on April 26, in an attempt to curb the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. Karnataka has been reporting almost 50,000 COVID-19 cases over 24 hours, with the most number of cases being reported from capital city Bengaluru.
The number of active cases in Karnataka crossed 5 lakh on Thursday, May 6, as 49,058 new COVID-19 cases were reported in one day. The state now has 5,17,075 active cases. The state also recorded 328 deaths, the health department said. Bengaluru Urban district reported 23,706 fresh infections and 139 fatalities. The city has 3,32,732 active cases and has reported 7,145 deaths so far. Other than Bengaluru, Mysuru and Tumakuru have also been reporting a higher number of cases. While Mysuru recorded 2,531 new cases and 18 deaths, Tumakuru recorded 2,418 infections and 14 fatalities.
According to the Karnataka government bulletin, Kalaburagi saw 1,652 new cases, Udupi 1,526, Haasan 1,503, Dakshina Kannada District saw 1,191, Bengaluru Rural recorded 963 cases and 922 were recorded in Ballari.
Ahead of the announcement, health expert and epidemiologist Dr Giridhara Babu, who is a stateās Technical Advisory Committee on COVID, spoke to PTI and said that Karnataka should consider the extension of the lockdown by two more weeks. He added that the state is yet to reach a peak though it has been reporting over 50,000 cases.
"At least in two weeks, we will see a peak in Karnataka," Dr Giridhara R Babu, who is a professor and head of Life Course Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, told PTI. "I will not give a clear indication on the number of cases during the peak, but irrespective of the testing, we will see the peak in the next two weeks," he said.
"Lockdown has helped in reducing the number of deaths, according to the models by IISc Professor Sashikumaar Ganesan. So, I recommend that the lockdown be extended by at least two weeks," Babu opined.
He added that there will be an increase in fatalities at least 10 to 14 days from the date of cases being reported. On the measures to be taken in view of the surge in infections, he said triage could be a game-changer in the fight against COVID.
According to Babu, there should be more screening and triage centres with oxygen supply all over Bengaluru where the COVID cases are high.