The state government is yet to take a final decision on the extension of the lockdown
With the 21-day nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus scheduled to end on April 14, a task force comprising of top healthcare professionals in Karnataka has recommended the state government to extend the lockdown in COVID-19 hotspots.
According to sources from the Karnataka Health Ministry, the panel headed by Dr Devi Shetty (Chairman, Narayana Health) also suggested that schools and colleges should remain closed till May 31 and online classes should be encouraged instead ensuring social distancing measures are strictly followed by all.
"All industries, Information Technology, Biotechnology (IT, BT) and garment companies should be made to work on 50% strength. Garments workers should be allowed to stitch PPE which are in more demand," the panel which also included Dr C N Manjunath (Director, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research), Dr C Nagaraj (Director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases), and Dr V Ravi (Senior Professor and Head of Neurovirology at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences) among others recommended.
Confirming the recommendations provided by the task force, the Karnataka Chief Minister's Office (CMO) tweeted, "Dr Devi Shetty, chairman of the task force submitted recommendations to CM B S Yeidyurappa on measures concering various measures to be taken after April 14."
ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಲಾಕ್ ಡೌನ್ ಸಡಿಲಿಸುವ ಕುರಿತಂತೆ, ಡಾ. ದೇವಿ ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷತೆಯ ಟಾಸ್ಕ್ ಫೋರ್ಸ್ ಸಮಿತಿ, ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಶ್ರೀ @BSYBJP ಅವರಿಗೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದ ಶಿಫಾರಸುಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯಾಂಶಗಳು.#ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲೇಇರಿ#KarnatakaFightsCorona#IndiaFightsCorona#SaluteCOVIDFighters pic.twitter.com/ZhnqhrNerl
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) April 8, 2020
"The CM has expressed gratitude to the panel for recommending effective measures on how to revoke lockdown measures in the state in a phased manner," a statement from the CMO read.
Other major recommendations stated in the report submitted to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in Bengaluru on Wednesday are as follows:
- Construction workers should be allowed to work of sites at 50% strength.
- COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients should be segregated.
- Online health services should be encouraged.
- Restrictions should be minimised in districts where there is nil or minimum cases.
- No buses, trains, flights till April 30.
- No Metro trains till April 30. Autorickshaws should be allowed.
- Odd-even rule in transport system should be implemented, excluding private vehicles.
Soon after the meeting, a statement from the Karnataka CMO mentioned, "Rapid testing kits will arrive on April 12. This will boost our facility to help us in quarantining more suspected groups."
However, the state government is yet to take a final decision on the extension of the lockdown. "The state cabinet will meet to discuss the recommendations submitted by the panel after the Centre issues detailed guidelines on post-lockdown measures," a top official from the health department told Indianexpress.com.
As of April 8, Karnataka has recorded 181 COVID-19 cases which includes five deaths and 28 discharges.