Karnataka for phased lifting of lockdown in state

Bengaluru, April 7 (IANS) With fingers crossed, a besieged Karnataka government is looking forward to a phased lifting of the 21-day lockdown from April 15, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“The state government is weighing the pros and cons of lifting the 3-week lockdown in a phased manner from April 15, as its hectic efforts to contain the coronavirus spread seems to have partially paid off by preventing community transmission across the state till date,” the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Compared to other states across the country, Karnataka has till date registered 175 Covid-19 positive cases, including 146 active, 25 discharged and only 4 dead since the last three weeks.

“The state has dropped to 10th position from third in a week across the country and has the lowest number of cases among the southern states, with Tamil Nadu over 600, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over 300 and Kerala above 270 cases till Monday,” said the official quoting from the Covid-19 tracker of the central government.

An analysis of the cases revealed that the dreadful disease had struck only 18 of the 30 districts across the southern state, with four of them registering them in double digits, while it is between 8 and 1 in the remaining 14 districts.

Bengaluru Urban has 62 cases, with 45 active, 18 discharged and 1 death, followed by Mysuru 35 active, Dakshina Kannada 12, including 8 active and 4 discharged and Bidar 10 active cases.

The remaining 56 are spread over 14 districts, with 48 active, 5 discharged and one death each in Bagalkote, Kalaburagi and Tumakuru.

“Most of the cases have either foreign travel history or Tablighis returning from their mosque in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin, with some of them related to or came into contact with them,” noted the official.

Though the affected districts are spread across the state barring the central or Malnad region, the state government is in favour of lifting the lockdown in those 12 districts that remained free or have not reported a single case so far.

On a higher scale, only Bengaluru and Mysuru are the two hotspots, with 60 per cent (97) of the total cases in the state. Dakshina Kannada on the west coast is way behind with just 12 cases.

“If cases stabilise or increase incrementally over the next week when the prolonged lockdown ends on April 14, the twin hotspots – Bengaluru and Mysuru – will continue to be under lockdown for another week or so, while it may be staggered in other affected districts, depending on the ground situation,” the official added.

A worried chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, under pressure from various lobbies to lift the lockdown, hinted that the state may have to endure another 2-week curfew if the grim situation worsens and a section of the people continue to roam around, throwing caution to the wind and ignoring social distancing.

“The state government will take stock of the situation on April 11 and submit a detailed report with data from across the state by April 12 to the Centre for deciding on lifting the lockdown in a phased manner in the virus-free districts and its continuation in the hotspots,” the official added.

–IANS

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