Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on April 26 announced that the entire state including Bengaluru city will go for a full lockdown for two weeks starting from April 27 night in a bid to contain the raging COVID-19 crisis in the state. The decision came following a Cabinet meeting that was held on Monday morning as the state registered a record high of 34,000 COVID-19 cases on a single day on Sunday.
“We have come to a decision after speaking to all ministers and experts,” Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in a press briefing after the cabinet meeting. Stores selling essential items will remain open for people only from 6 am to 10 am, the Chief Minister confirmed.
Public transportation, including RTC buses and Bangalore Metro services, will not function. Goods can be transported from one state to another. Takeaway from restaurants and home delivery of alcohol has been allowed.
“In government hospitals, vaccination will be free for people between 18-45 years. For those above 45 years, the Union Government will provide vaccination free," the Chief Minister said. "From April 27 evening, stringent measures will be in place. Request vendors, shopkeepers to close right after so the police don't have to compel them."
Manufacturing sector constructions, agricultural activities will be allowed but garment factories are prohibited since it required workers to be seated next to each other.
There will be no shortage of oxygen henceforth. The Union government has agreed to increase supply from 300 MT to 800 MT, he added.
The state especially capital Bengaluru is reeling under a crisis of ventilator and ICU-beds with patients needing to wait for hours to get admitted in hospitals. As of Monday morning, Karnataka has more than 1.6 lakh active cases with an overwhelming majority in Bengaluru. In light of this, some members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which held its 99th meeting on April 24 in Bengaluru had advised for a two-week long down.
The state is already under night curfew and weekend lockdown under existing restrictions as the number of cases have been on the rise since the start of April.
Rise in deaths in Bengaluru
Starting with April, Bengaluru has seen a massive surge in deaths with 1,170 COVID-19 fatalities recorded in the city. The number of related deaths for the month of March, February and January were 147,88 and 66 respectively.
The highest number of deaths earlier was recorded in July 2020 when 962 persons died in Bengaluru due to COVID-19.