Coronavirus: Karnataka announces 14-day lockdown; free vaccines
The Karnataka government on Monday announced a 14-day lockdown in the state amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. The decision was taken after a Karnataka Cabinet meeting earlier in the day. The state government also announced free vaccination for people aged over 18 after May 1. The development comes as the state has been reporting a slew of record spikes in infections.
Lockdown effective from 9 pm tomorrow till May 9
After the Cabinet meeting, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced a state-wide lockdown from April 27 at 9 pm till May 9. Under the lockdown, essential shops will remain open from 6 am-10 am every day. No public transport will be available. The inter-state transportation of goods will also be allowed. Takeaway services from restaurants and home delivery of alcohol will be allowed.
Detailed guidelines to be issued by evening
Manufacturing sector constructions, agricultural activities will also be allowed to function. However, garment factories will be prohibited as they require workers to be seated next to each other. Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar will issue detailed lockdown guidelines by this evening.
State to cover vaccination cost for those aged 18-45 years
Yediyurappa announced that the state government will cover the cost of vaccination for those aged between 18-45 years. "In government hospitals, vaccination will be free for people between 18-45 years. For those above 45 years, the Union Government will provide vaccination free," The News Minute quoted him as saying. Yediyurappa approved the purchase of one crore vaccine doses for Rs. 400 crore on Thursday.
Centre has raised oxygen supply to 800 MT: Yediyurappa
Yediyurappa also said that there will be no shortage of oxygen in the state since the Centre has increased the supply from 300 metric tonnes (MT) to 800 MT. The state—particularly the capital Bengaluru—is also dealing with a shortage of ventilator and ICU beds.
Karnataka reports record 34.8K new cases
With 34,804 new cases, Karnataka reported its biggest spike for the sixth consecutive day. The daily positivity rate stood at 19.7%. The total number of infections has reached 13,39,201, including 2,62,162 active cases. 143 fatalities pushed the death toll to 14,426. Bengaluru Urban alone reported 20,733 new cases, taking the cumulative tally to 6,53,656. Bengaluru now has 1,80,542 active cases.