With case surge in rural areas, districts tighten restrictions in Karnataka

Hassan during the lockdown last weekend.   | Photo Credit: PRAKASH HASSAN

In the midst of the debate over continuing the Statewide lockdown beyond May 24, some district administrations have announced stricter measures to contain the surge of COVID-19.

With the State government providing the districts greater autonomy to take decisions based on the ground reality, measures stricter than the State guidelines were clamped in Hassan, Ballari, and Kalaburagi on Tuesday. While Shivamogga had already seen a four-day total lockdown last week, restrictions in Raichur district started two days ago.

Over the past fortnight, cases in rural areas saw a steep increase, causing anxiety in the district administrations, even as the numbers in Bengaluru, which had the highest caseload, declined. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday also spoke for localised decision-making to better address micro-local issues.

Under the new restrictions in Kalaburagi and Ballari, which will be in place for the next three days, grocery stores, vegetable and fruit stores, hotels, and wine stores will be shut. Exceptions have been given to the health sector, the supply of LPG cylinders, supply of food from hotels to the doorstep, in situ construction activities, and ATM and petroleum outlets.

In Hassan, only those selling essential items, including vegetables and groceries, are allowed to remain open between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. People will be allowed to make purchases only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Unlike in the northern districts, wine stores have been allowed to function.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said the Chief Minister has been receiving inputs on the situation from the Technical Advisory Committee, the task force, and various departments. “He will decide on the lockdown depending on the inputs,” the Minister said. He clarified that no discussion on lockdown figured in the videoconference meeting with the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister R. Ashok favoured the extension of lockdown beyond May 24. Speaking to reporters in Mangaluru, he said the virus surge in Maharashtra and Kerala has been contained because of lockdown measures.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:11:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/with-case-surge-in-rural-areas-districts-tighten-restrictions-in-karnataka/article34590706.ece

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