Revenue Minister R Ashoka said that extending the lockdown would further reduce the COVID-19 caseload in the state.

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news Lockdown Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 09:30
Written by  IANS

Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Friday said that he was in favour of extending the 14-day lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state. "As the 14-day lockdown since May 10 has helped us in controlling Covid cases, I am in favour of extending it beyond May 24 to contain the virus spread further," Ashoka told reporters in Bengaluru.

Noting that new cases, which were over 25,000 each day in Bengaluru earlier, declined to roughly 16,000 daily after the lockdown was imposed, Ashoka said its extension would further reduce the caseload. "Extension of lockdown in Maharashtra and Delhi reduced COVID-19 cases in the worst-affected states, positive cases will also decline in our state if the 14-day lockdown is extended beyond May 24," asserted Ashoka.

Cabinet ministers involved in the fight against the pandemic will meet before the present lockdown ends on May 24 to assess the situation to decide on the next course of action in containing the disease. "Though I will suggest extension of lockdown, the final decision will be taken by the Chief Minister (BS Yediyurappa),” he said. 

Currently, the lockdown measures are in place till May 24. Essential stores are open from 6 am to 10 am and movement is limited to emergencies at other times in the day.

Refuting charges by the opposition parties that testing had reduced in the state, the minister said that the guidelines have been issued to test all symptomatic, ILI (Influenza Like Illness) and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections) patients across the state for early detection and treatment.

"Even primary contacts of each COVID-19 positive patient are tested to contain the virus spread. Mass testing in public places has been suspended due to lockdown as people are not allowed to come out of their home," he reiterated.

According to the state health bulletin, 41,779 new cases were registered on Thursday, taking the state's COVID-19 tally to 21,30,267, including 5,98,605 active cases.

State capital Bengaluru reported 14,316 fresh cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 10,29,312, including 3,60,862 active cases.

The virus claimed 373 lives, including 121 in Bengaluru, taking the state's death toll to 21,085 and the city's toll to 9,246 since the pandemic broke out in mid-March a year ago.

Out of 1,27,105 tests conducted across the state during the day, 10,315 were through rapid antigen detection and 1,16,790 through RT-PCR method.

Positivity rate rose to 32.86% and case fatality rate declined to 0.89% across the state on Thursday.