'Janata Curfew' begins in Karnataka; govt decides to shut

'Janata Curfew' begins in Karnataka; govt decides to shut state borders Bengaluru, Mar 22 (PTI) The Karnataka government has decided to shut state borders, also postpone all exams including SSLC (class 10), aimed at controling the spread of COVID-19 virus, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Sunday.

Streets in the capital city and other parts of the state wore a deserted look as the 'Janata curfew' proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help check the spread of coronavirus began.

The Chief Minister complimented and thanked people of the state for supporting the Prime Minister's call for observing the 'Janata Curfew'.

Appealing to people in the cities not to travel to villages for the next 15 days to control outbreak in rural areas, Yediyurappa said a decision has also been taken to screen all domestic passengers henceforth at airports.

'We have decided to completely shut state's borders, we request cooperation of every one in this regard. All examinations including SSLC (class 10 that was scheduled from March 27) have been postponed, however only one PUC (class 12) paper scheduled for tomorrow will be held,' Yediyurappa told reporters here.

The chief minister said he held detailed discussions with Narayana Health Chairman Dr Devi Shetty, senior Ministers and officials of his government this morning regarding certain important measures need to be taken.

A 1,700-bed facility at Victoria Hospital in the city will be converted as a special hospital for COVID related cases with immediate effect, he added.

'It has been decided to postpone all elections that was scheduled...most importantly I appeal to people residing in the cities not to travel to villages for fifteen days, as there are no problems there, cases are in the cities,' he added.

Yediyurappa said already all international passengers are being screened, and it has been decided toscreen all domestic passengers at airports from now on.

He said Balabrooie Guest House in the city will be converted into 'Corona War Room' and all related measures will be monitored and implemented from there under his leadership.

'The War Room will function round-the-clock and all task force meetings and video conferencing will happen from there,' he added.

The Chief Minister asked people not to fear or panic and go for stocking of food grains and other essential substances and said 'the government has taken care in this regard.' Noting that it has been decided to immediately increase the number of labs to test for COVID-19 virus, Yediyurapp said, all those who have come into contact with infected persons whether they show symptoms or not, will be tested.

'Facilities are being made ready to testat least 200 out of every 10 lakh people. With the help of ICMR and NIV we have decided to get permission to as many government and private labs to test COVID-19,' he said.

To support the COVID task force that has been formed with senior Ministers as members, a team of senior officials has been constituted, and they have already started functioning, he added. PTI KSU SS SS