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CM Yediyurappa to decide on lockdown extension in Karnataka, may toe Centre’s line


Indicating that the lockdown to contain Covid in the State may be extended till June 30 as was directed by the Centre, Karnataka Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa would take a decision after meeting his Ministers. The State is currently under lockdown till June 7.

“We have announced a lockdown till June 7 and it will be implemented completely. The Union Home Ministry that has given guidance has said that strict measures should be in place till June 30,” the Karnataka Home Minister said. Speaking to reporters, he said it was decided at a meeting on Friday that the Chief Minister would call a meeting of all Ministers and decide on how to implement the lockdown. Yediyurappa later held a meeting of senior Ministers and officials regarding controlling COVID-19.

The Centre had on Thursday directed States and Union Territories to continue the ongoing COVID-19 guidelines till June 30 and asked them to go for intensive and local containment measures in districts with a high number of cases to check the spread of the deadly disease.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said strict implementation of containment and other measures has led to a decline in the number of new and active cases, across States and Union Territories, barring some areas in the southern and northeastern regions.

Bommai said, “The positivity rate has not come down yet completely, it has come down below 10 per cent, and in rural areas the cases are about 22,000-23,000 (daily), it has to go below 10,000, then we will be able to manage the health infrastructure.”

Decisions would be taken keeping all these aspects in mind, he said adding, “According to experts, if the positivity rate, deaths and total caseload come down, then we will be able to control the COVID by managing with the health infrastructure.”

While the positivity rate in the State on Friday stood at 16.42 per cent, case fatality rate (CFR) was at 1.75 per cent.

The Karnataka government had initially announced 14 days of close-down from April 27, but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, as the COVID cases continued to spike. Citing lockdown yielding results and based on experts’ advice it was again extended till June 7.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said the government after analysing the situation, examining things and based on suggestions by experts would come to a decision on measures to be implemented after June 7 until then the measures that are in place would continue. The total number of active COVID-19 cases in Karnataka on Friday fell below the four-lakh mark, reporting 22,823 new cases and 401 deaths. While the total number of infections so far stood at 25,46,821, the toll was 27,806.

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