Bengaluru: Amid rising Covid-19 cases, a senior Karnataka minster on Thursday ruled out enforcing lockdown again in Bengaluru, which began Unlock 1.0 on June 1. Also Read - Pasteurising Breast Milk Inactivates COVID-19 Virus
“No lockdown again in Bengaluru. Only containment zones in the city where large number of Covid-19 cases are reported will be sealed,” state Revenue Minister R. Ashoka told reporters here after a cabinet meet on the growing number of infections in the state capital. Also Read - US Joins India in Clinical Trials For Ayurveda Formulations Against COVID-19
Following demand by the opposition parties to re-impose lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread, Ashoka said there were divergent views on the issue and the state government would discuss it with health experts and other stakeholders. Also Read - Coronavirus: India Reports First Spike of Over 25,000; 26,506 New Cases in Last 24 Hours
“Daily wage labourers, who were most affected by an extended lockdown earlier, do not want it again in the city as it would hit their livelihoods,” asserted Ashoka.
Echoing Ashoka, state Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said that with board exams for Class 10 getting underway earlier in the day, there is no question of re-imposing lockdown in Bengaluru or other cities and towns in the state.
“As Class 10 exams began, I don’t think the question of imposing lockdown again in Bengaluru or other cities or towns in the state will rise,” Narayan told reporters.
The first Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) board exam in English and Kannada subjects for Class 10 students was held across the southern state under Covid cloud as per lockdown guidelines.
The state government has called for an all-party meeting of 28 legislators from this tech city on Friday to discuss the measures to contain the virus spread.
“Though Covid cases have been rising, we have to take a pragmatic view of them as we have reopened the economy under Unlock 1.0 since June 1. The cases are rising for various reasons, including influx of outsiders with infection,” said state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
On the demand for re-imposing lockdown by the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Bommai said the opposition parties have been inconsistent, as they opposed lockdown when it was extended and now want it again when it has been lifted.
“It is not a question of opposition’s demand, but we have to see what is the need of the hour. We are consulting health experts and have called for an all-party meeting on Friday to assess the overall situation,” Bommai said.
The state government has already re-imposed lockdown in five civic wards in the city since Tuesday till July 1 to contain the corona virus spread.
The death rate has also gone up in the city and the state due to ILI cases, which are common in this (rainy) season.
Of the 442 new cases reported from across the southern state in the last 24 hours, Bengaluru accounted for 113, taking its tally of positive cases to 1,791. With 505 discharged so far, including 30 on Thursday, the number of active cases is 1,207.
Of the 170 Covid deaths in the state, Bengaluru accounted for 78.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had warned the denizens to follow the Covid control measures or face another lockdown across the city.
“If you don’t want Bengaluru to be sealed down once again, better cooperate and maintain distance,” Yediyurappa said ahead of the cabinet meeting.
Admitting that infections were rising in the city by the day, the Chief Minister said that efforts were being made to contain them by sealing down areas where more cases were surfacing.
“Bengaluru is better off compared to the other cities and has emerged as a role model for the whole country,” he asserted.
On Tuesday, the city civic body re-imposed lockdown in 5 wards in the city to reduce the spread of the infection as more cases were reported of late.