Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa on Saturday announced that there would be a total lockdown in Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts for a week starting Tuesday as the state further loses grip of the covid-19 situation.
“Considering the suggestions from experts to curb the increasing number of Covid cases, government has decided to implement complete lockdown in Bengaluru Urban and Rural Districts for 7 days starting 8 PM on Tuesday, 14th July. Detailed guidelines will be released on Monday,” Yediyurappa posted from his personal handle on Twitter.
The announcement comes on the day Karnataka marked its highest single-day spike as a record 2,798 in 24 hours until 5 pm on Saturday forcing the state into a relapse into a lockdown.
The active cases in Karnataka also rose to 20,883 cases out of the total 36,216 recorded so far. Bengaluru continued to see a surge as a record 1,533 tested positive that takes its total number of active cases to 12,793. A record 70 persons succumbed to the virus that takes the toll to 617 across the state including 230 in Bengaluru alone.
The state government relapsed into a lockdown despite vehemently opposed to the idea in order to keep businesses and other activities open in Bengaluru, its growth capital, and help revive the state’s economy and acute fund-crunch.
However, it was rapidly losing ground it had earlier gained against the virus after falling short on testing, contact tracing and the lack of any concrete measures to contain the spread that further compounded its problems and is likely to have weighed in on the decision taken by the chief minister.
Bengaluru had kept all businesses and activities open despite the number of cases from the city had been higher than Chennai even though its total count is still much lower.
The Tamil Nadu government had announced a lockdown in Chennai and three surrounding districts which has since been extended to a few more districts that have reported higher cases.
The chief minister announced that all essential services like supply of milk, vegetables, fruits, medicines and groceries will continue uninterrupted.
The Yediyurappa-led government and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city’s civic body) are criticised to have rested on earlier laurels of keeping the number of cases under check during the three-month extended lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But this was not followed up with more concrete measures, opposition, experts and others said.
Though the initial spike was attributed to the relaxing of inter-state movement, the virus has since spread deeper into the community due to lack of concrete measures and over-stretching of already inadequate resources.
However, the source of infection in most cases reported in nearly two weeks, especially from Bengaluru, are unknown that indicates the possibility of a full blown community transmission.
Almost every single case reported in Bengaluru over the last week has been classified as ‘contact under tracing’ indicating the transmission of the virus in the community even though the state–and centre–are yet to officially acknowledge the same.