K'taka CM reiterates no lockdown; Oppn flays govt for poor COVID-19 handling

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Bengaluru, Apr 14 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday reiterated that there will be no lockdown in the state, but stringent measures implemented to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a function here, Yediyurappa said, 'Barring lockdown, all other measures will be taken. Already we have imposed night curfew in some cities. If required we will extend it to some other districts as well.' The CM said he would consult the Opposition party leaders on the next course of action and deliberate on their suggestions.

He also ruled out lockdown on the weekends.

The Chief Minister has convened a meeting with the opposition leaders on April 18, a day after the bypolls to Belagavi Lok Sabha constituency and Maski and Basavakalyan assembly segments.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties said lockdown was not a solution to rising COVID-19 infections as it would only make lives more difficult.

'Lockdown is not a solution.. First it has to be identified how this disease spreads and accordingly, treatment should be provided.

The government relaxed the norms when the number of coronavirus cases dropped, due to which they have gone up now,' Congress leader Siddaramaiah said.

He charged the state government with minimising the tests when cases reduced substantially, allowing everyone to come in without checking them and letting people congregate at public events.

If the government is willing to impose lockdown, it should deposit Rs 10,000 into the account of one crore families belonging to the economically weaker section, the Leader of Opposition in the assembly told media.

He also claimed that he has not received any invitation from the government on the all-party meeting yet.

JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy said the government should focus on the availability of essential drugs such as Remdesivir and beds in hospitals as it is being projected that by the month end, cases may shoot up to 20,000 a day. PTI GMS ROH ROH