Bengaluru, June 23 (IANS) Amid rising Covid cases in the city, the Karnataka government may have to re-impose the lockdown in Bengaluru after consulting with experts, said a minister on Tuesday.
“If the Covid scenario continues to be like this in the days to come, we may have to consider lockdown after consulting experts and taking the chief minister into confidence. No decision has been taken yet,” said Health Minister B. Sriramulu.
Alarmed by the rising cases in the city, the minister has appealed to the people to cooperate in controlling the virus by following all the safety precautions.
On Monday, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had directed officials to stringently enforce lockdown in the pockets where the infections are rising.
The city civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has sealed down K.R. Market and Kalasipalya Market for 15 days.
Meanwhile, Sriramulu said that asymptomatic cases which were being admitted in dedicated Covid hospitals till now will be treated at community halls, schools, marriage halls, hotels and Haj Bhavan.
All those facilities have been converted into Covid Care Centres (CCCs) where asymptomatic cases are treated.
“As asymptomatic patients will go to CCCs, more beds will be freed up at dedicated Covid hospitals where symptomatic and serious cases can be treated,” said Sriramulu.
However, he assured that doctors and nurses will be available at CCCs round the clock to take care of the patients.
Sriramulu said more senior citizens would be tested in the coming days, including scaling up the testing capacity.
“The government has plans to conduct 2,000-3,000 tests in each district with two testing labs,” he said.
Meanwhile, former chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H. D. Kumaraswamy has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose a 20-day national lockdown.
“Today India is among the countries with the highest number of Covid cases and the problem must be seen in conjunction with our high density of population compared to other countries,” said Kumaraswamy.
He said the selective sealing is not serving the purpose of arresting the pandemic and exhorted that the economy should not get precedence over people’s lives.
“I urge Karnataka chief minister to immediately announce the lockdown for 20 days, especially for Bengaluru. I also urge him to grant a compensation of at least Rs 5,000 through direct benefit transfer to all daily wage workers including cab and auto drivers and weavers,” said Kumaraswamy.
Contrasting the voices calling for a lockdown, Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi has defended Yediyurappa’s decision not to extend the lockdown as it will further weaken the state economy.
Savadi said lockdown is not the only way to control the pandemic in the southern state.
Bengaluru Urban has witnessed a total of 1,505 Covid cases, out of which 996 are currently active and 73 people have succumbed to the virus in this tech city.