Bengaluru: “Lockdown in Karnataka has been extended till June 14 as the positivity and death rates continue high in the state and the pandemic levels to rural regions,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said. The government was unlikely to modify restrictions regarding intra and inter-district movement. Daily timings for the procurement of essentials are also possible to remain stable, from 6 am to 10 am, though there is a necessity to extend the timing till 2 pm.
During the analysis on the lockdown, the chief minister and a few senior ministers have been in support of unlocking in a phased way after June 7 as Covid cases have fallen by approximately 65 percent from the peak in the first week of May. Though health officials on the state Covid panel assumed that the lockdown must proceed at least for one more week as the positivity rate beyond the state is still hanging around 15 percent.
The state’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee, in its statement to the government, has stated the positivity rate has to decline below 5 percent and the number of daily cases under 5,000 for restrictions on activities and movements to be relaxed. A total of 7.2 lakh Covid-19 cases and 8,716 deaths were recorded in Bengaluru over the past 61 days, with authorities urging warning as the state plans to uphold for yet another wave.
In 2020, after the lockdown was raised, Bengaluru observed a wave in cases in August and September. There are concerns that the return of migrant workers, who left the city due to lockdown, may unleash a fresh surge of infections. The State government had initially declared 14 days of closedown from April 27, but imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24 as the cases increased. Citing lockdown yielding results and experts’ opinion, it was extended till June 7.
Earlier in the day, State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai indicated that the lockdown may be extended after Centre’s direction to do so till June 30 and that the Chief Minister would take a judgment after meeting his Ministers.“The positivity rate has not come down completely, it has to come to below 10 percent, and in rural areas, the cases are about 22,000-23,000, it has to go below 10,000, even the number of deaths will have to come down, only then we will be able to manage the health infrastructure,” he said.