“There will be no lockdown in Bengaluru from tomorrow. Lockdown is not a solution to tackle the pandemic anymore, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Tuesday in a live address on the last day of the seven-day lockdown period in the capital.
He added that there would not be a lockdown in any district in the state either.
“People should go about their routine. The revival of the economy and resource mobilisation is a priority for my government. The ministers, MLAs, doctors, nurses, ASHA workers are putting their lives at stake and serving the people. So, every citizen must maintain social distancing, wear masks in public places and help contain COVID-19. Even the Prime Minister has time and again reminded that wearing a mask goes a long way in fighting the pandemic,” said Yediyurappa, adding that though some districts had seen a surge in the number of cases, it was time to look ahead.
“No officer should talk of imposing the lockdown and [should] instead follow the norms strictly to contain the pandemic. We have worked tirelessly day and night. We need the cooperation of the citizens to fight the virus now. I urge senior citizens and children to stay home. I also urge people to behave with courtesy with the COVID infected. The restrictions in the containment zones will be strictly enforced,” said Yediyurappa.
‘Govt ready to tackle COVID’
Sharing the government’s strategy, the CM assured the people that the state was following the “5 Ts”—Trace, track, test, treat and technology. In Bengaluru, each of the eight zones has had a minister deployed and both senior officer and booth level committees formed, he said.
“For every COVID positive [case], we have tracked 47 contacts on an average. There have been issues with the admission of both COVID and non-COVID cases for want of beds. But that has been streamlined now. A centralised bed allocation system is in place. A real-time dashboard will now help locate a vacant bed for the patients. I also appeal to the asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms to be in home-isolation or at the COVID Care Centres, as only 5 per cent of the COVID patients need ventilators,” said Yediyurappa.
Expressing confidence that his government, with the cooperation of private hospitals, could tackle exigencies, Yediyurappa said, “We have kept around 11,000 beds ready across the hospitals and COVID care centres in the city. The test results were getting delayed too. We have now roped in private sector and [have been] assured that the test results will be out within 24 hours.”
The chief minister expressed regret over people committing suicide due to panic and advised people not to take drastic steps.
The sudden surge in the state was due to the influx of people from COVID-hit states, feels the CM.
“When we eased the lockdown, we saw people coming into the state from other states. So, there has been a spike,” he said.
Markets to remain closed in Bengaluru
While all major markets were closed during lockdown, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said they would remain closed for a few more days as people tend to crowd these places. Detailed guidelines are expected later in the day.
CM appeals to opposition parties
The chief minister appealed to opposition leaders to give constructive suggestions rather than criticise the government.
“Mr Siddaramaiah visited the BIEC today to inspect the COVID care centre. We have taken all suggestions seriously. Previously, we had decided to rent the beds at the centre. But later we decided to buy them owing to high rentals. Then, KPCC chief D.K. Shivakumar expressed concern over the disposal of the beds used by COVID patients.
“Let me assure you that these beds will be burnt after use and only the cots will be given to the Primary Health Centres. We are ready to provide answers to any query of the opposition parties within 24 hours. Let me assure them my government has given no scope for corruption in the procurement of COVID-related equipment. You can come and examine the documents,” asserted the CM.
“People get confused when the ruling party and the opposition give contradicting statements. So, the political parties must bury all our differences and work together in these trying times,” urged the CM.
The CM also hailed the efforts of the education department and the SSLC students for successfully completing the exams amid the COVID crisis.