Karnataka braces for total lockdown on Sunday

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Sat, May 23rd, 2020, 22:58:02hrs

Bengaluru, May 23 (IANS) Karnataka is braced for a total lockdown on Sunday after a four-day partial relaxation of its guidelines in non-containment areas or hotspots across the southern state, an official said on Saturday.

"As decided by the state government on May 18, total lockdown will be enforced on Sunday again in compliance with the May 17 order of the Ministry of Home Affairs to contain the Covid spread," said the official.

Though the central government further extended the lockdown to May 31 from May 18 with greater relaxation of the norms to restore near-normalcy across the country, the state has decided to enforce it (lockdown) only on Sunday, which is on May 24 and May 31.

"The lockdown will be strictly observed across the state, as it was during its first phase for 21 days from March 25 to April 14. Barring retail outlets for essential supplies like milk, vegetables, fruits, and medicines, everything will be shut down from 7pm on Saturday to 7am on Monday," said Director-General of Police (DGP) Pravin Sood.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao told reporters on Saturday that no private or public vehicle would be allowed to ply during the Sunday lockdown and strict action would be taken against violators.

"Only ambulances and vehicles on essential duty will be allowed to ply during the Sunday curfew. Shops selling medicines, groceries, vegetables, fruits and poultry and meat products will be allowed to open and they have to ensure customers maintain physical distancing and stand in queues," Rao said.

State-run buses, taxis and autos will also be not allowed to operate across the state and private vehicles, including two-wheelers and cars, will be seized if found violating the guidelines.

"All main roads, flyovers and enter/exit points on the city outskirts will be barricaded to prevent movement of any vehicle," Sood added.

In an appeal to all citizens across the state, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa urged the people to abide by the lockdown on this (May 24) and next Sunday (May 31) to contain the Covid-19 spread.

"We have reached a crucial stage in the war against Covid-19. Follow guidelines in the interest and welfare of all to fight the pandemic. Stay at home to be safe," said Yediyurappa.

The state government, however, allowed weddings prefixed on Sunday amid the lockdown with a slew of riders to ensure health and social distancing.

"Marriages pre-fixed on the two Sundays can be performed in conformity with the partially relaxed guidelines, such as limiting guests to 50, wearing masks, washing hands with sanitiser and maintaining social distance," added the official.