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Total Lockdown or Section 144? Karnataka Govt to Take Final Decision Today Amid Rising COVID Cases

Lockdown in Karnataka: The result of the meeting will decide the next steps of the Yediyurappa government. 

Updated: April 20, 2021 2:35 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa (PTI Photo)

Bengaluru: In the wake of rising coronavirus cases, Karnataka governor Vajubhai R. Vala will chair an all-party meeting, where a decision on the imposition of lockdown or additional restrictions is likely to be taken. An all-party meeting is scheduled to be held virtually at 4:30 pm today. Earlier, the all-party meeting was scheduled for April 18, however, it was canceled after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tested for COVID-19 positive. The result of the meeting will decide the next steps of the Yediyurappa government.

Earlier on Monday, Bengaluru legislators and MPs had unanimously favoured imposing Section I44 – prohibition of the unlawful assembly of people instead of enforcing measures like lockdown, partial lockdown, or night curfew.

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“We have suggested that if at all the state government was planning to enforce lockdown, then the state government must take steps to pay at least Rs 25,000 per account in the state, which roughly translates to Rs 15,000 crore. This amount is for the poor people to look after their families,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president, R. Ramalinga Reddy told reporters yesterday.

Two Months Crucial

After chairing the meeting with Bengaluru legislators and MPs to seek their opinion on tackling Covid, Karnataka revenue minister, R  Ashoka who is also chairman of state disaster management committee said that the next two months will be the most crucial, hence, the government needed the support of everyone including the Opposition.

However, he stated that there is no proposal before the government to enforce lockdown or partial lockdown to contain the Covid pandemic. “All the more what we require is a strong support from our people, who are on the street and they should start following the Covid norms strictly,” he added.

’14-Day Lockdown Necessary’

To bring the situation under control, experts have asked the BS Yediyurappa-led government to take some stringent measures.  “A total lockdown of 14 days had become essential now to reduce the speed of transmission. This is my opinion. We need to enhance the bed capacity by using facilities in medical colleges at the earliest”, The Hindu quoted state’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)  member Giridhar R Babu,  head of Lifecourse Epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India, as saying.

Who Will Attend Today’s Meeting

CM Yediyurappa, who is in hospital for COVID -19 treatment, will attend today’s meeting. Besides, the meeting will be attended by former CM and leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah and his counterpart in the Council SR Patil, JD(S) Legislature Party Leader HD Kumaraswamy, who is also in hospital for COVID-19 treatment, KPCC president D K Shivakumar, state JD(S) president H K Kumaraswamy, former deputy chief minister and MLA G Parameshwara.

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