Karnataka lockdown: Minister bats for extension for few more days; BS Yediyurappa to take final call
Bengaluru, May 14: As Karnataka continues to battle the second wave of COVID-19, Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Friday batted for the extension of the statewide lockdown, aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.
He said, the government headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will take a final call, as the current lockdown nears its end.
The state is currently under complete lockdown till May 24.
"As a citizen of Bengaluru my personal opinion is that it is good to continue the lockdown for a few more days. (Number of cases in the city) has come to 15,000 from 22,000 per day, it is about 7,000 cases less now, it is because of semi- lockdown and complete lockdown," Ashoka, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority said.
Speaking to reporters here, he pointed to long lockdowns implemented in states like Maharashtra and Delhi among others which witnessed the second wave ahead of Karnataka, and said they are a model for us as the number of cases have been coming down.
"Three days ahead of the current lockdown coming to an end, Chief Minister will call a meeting where we will share our opinion, looking at the figures that day in the state and whether the number of cases have come down because of lockdown, we will take a decision. The CM will take a decision," Ashoka said, adding he will be sharing his opinion at the meeting.
Amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the state, the Karnataka government that had initially announced 14 days closedown from April 27, it subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, amid continued spike in cases.
Stating that no one expected a four-fold increase in the number of cases, Ashoka said, experts had said the second wave will be less compared to first wave, there were media reports too and we too had believed it.
"It is a lesson for us...the government is addressing the difficult situation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and our government are facing the situation with courage and will stand by the people," he said, as he hit out at the opposition for changing their stands on the lockdown.
Speaking to reporters in Bagalkote, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol too said that the Chief Minister will take a final decision on continuing the lockdown.
"The Chief Minister will take a decision after consulting medical experts and doctors in this regard...they will examine the ICMR advice...no decision has been taken yet," he said.
Dr.Balram Bhargava, head of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has said that lockdown restrictions should remain in place for another six to eight weeks, in all districts where the rate of infection is above 10 per cent of those tested, to control the spread.
According to reports, 29 out of 31 districts in Karnataka have Covid positivity rate of over 10 per cent.
While the overall positivity rate in the state as on Thursday stood at 27.64 per cent, case fatality rate (CFR) was at 0.97 per cent.
Karnataka on Thursday reported 35,297 new cases of COVID-19, and 344 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 20,88,488 and the death toll to 20,712.
Total number of active cases stood at 5,93,078.
Out of the 35,297 fresh cases reported, 15,191 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.