Lockdown to Continue in Bengaluru and Other Covid-19 'Red Zones' of Karnataka after April 14: Minister

CNN-News18

Bengaluru: The IT city of Bengaluru and a few other districts in Karnataka have been identified as Covid-19 'red zones' and will continue to be under lockdown even after the 21-day nationwide curfew comes to an end on April 14.

The minister in charge of handling coronavirus-related issues in the state, K Sudhakar said this on Tuesday. Bengaluru accounts for 45 of the total 146 active cases in Karnataka.

Speaking to CNN-News18, the minister explained the definition of these red zones and how these areas are their focus points when it comes to tackling the pandemic.

"We have identified red spots of Covid-19 -- wherever there are more than 9/10 cases, a 100% lockdown needs to be ensured in the area. According to the Karnataka government, the lockdown should continue in these red zones even after April 14 and even the lifting of the curfew needs to be in a phased manner"

Besides Bengaluru, Mysuru with 35 positive cases, Bidar with 10 and Dakshin and Uttar Kannada with eight cases each are among the red zones identified.

Mysuru saw the state’s first cluster outbreak when an employee (P-52) of a pharmaceutical company tested positive. Within weeks, over 10 employees and contacts of P-52 had tested positive.

Another group of positive cases from the palace city had travel history to Delhi in the first week of March and are being treated at the district hospital of Mysuru.

Of the 146 active cases, over 25 are either directly or through primary contacts connected to the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin area.

On Tuesday, 12 new cases were reported in the state of which seven were connected to the Markaz event that took place in the national capital from March 13-18.

Three of these cases came from Mandya district which is nestled between Bengaluru and Mysuru.

"Quarantine procedure is the same for all whether they travelled to Delhi and were part of the markaz or travelled abroad. We have stuck to the 28-day quarantine period and continue to do so, but we saw more cases from the district that didn't have a single case after this event. Had it not been for the Delhi event, we would have been in double digits in the state," the minister added.

With barely a week left for the 21-day lockdown to come to an end, states have started chalking out exit strategies of how they would like to go about either relaxing the curfew gradually or extend the same.

"In Karnataka, the chief minister (BS Yediyurappa) will discuss with every stakeholder, with his cabinet colleagues and also consult the Centre, and then take a decision in the coming few days on how to lift the lockdown" Sudhakar said.