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Karnataka government mulls lifting lockdown curbs in a phased manner: Minister R Ashok

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Bengaluru, May 31: The Karnataka government is contemplating to unlock the lockdown in a phased manner by easing restrictions provided COVID-19 infections in Bengaluru come down to less than 1,000 a day, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok said.

"I have given my opinion to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa about unlocking the lockdown in a phased manner by opening one after another sector," Ashok told reporters in Chikkaballapura.

lockdown

Replying to a query on lifting the restrictions on June 7 when the current lockdown which is in effect since May 10 comes to an end, Ashok said there is a request from some sectors to lift curbs stage by stage.

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He, however, warned that the lockdown will continue if the number of infections do not come down. "The restrictions will be eased only when the infections reduce. For example, in Delhi the cases are about 1,000 a day. In Bengaluru, the number should come below 1,000 a day and in Karnataka it should be limited to just 2,000 to 3,000. Then only the government will consider easing the lockdown," the Minister said.

According to him, the lockdown has helped controlling the infections and deaths due to COVID. Ashoka said the government has not yet received any report from the TAC. Things will be clear only on June 6 when the Chief Minister will hold a meeting with ministers, officials and the TAC members.

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"We will decide whatever is in the interest of people," he added. Meanwhile, a senior official too said that there is talk about lifting curbs in a phased manner. "There is a discussion going on at the government level to unlock the lockdown stage by stage. The coronavirus cases would be under control only if the restrictions are eased in a phased manner. Even we (officials) are also recommending the same," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta told reporters.

His statement came just a week before the current lockdown comes to an end on June 7. The daily COVID infections and fatalities in Karnataka had crossed 50,000 and over 600 respectively in the last week of April. It reduced to 20,378 infections and 382 deaths on Sunday. There are 3.42 lakh active cases in the state as on Sunday.

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