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Karnataka begins partial easing of Covid-19 lockdown

Bengaluru, April 23 (IANS) Partial relaxation in the extended lockdown has begun across Karnataka, excluding coronavirus hotspots and containment areas, according to an official here on Thursday.

“As notified, the 19-day extended lockdown has been partially relaxed to mitigate hardship to the people and revive the economic activity to sustain growth,” the official told IANS.

The partial exit on the 9th day has led to opening of hotels for parcel service, trading at the agriculture marketing committee (APMC) yards, online delivery of essential goods, essential services like courier, production of cement, steel, tiles and bricks and roadside eateries (dhabas).

“As the IT-BT (biotech) remain shut till the lockdown ends on May 3 and the employees work from home, staff for essential services reported to work at offices,” said the official.

Admitting that the relaxation has led to hundreds of people stepping out of their homes in cities, the official said their movement was being regulated to prevent congestion on roads and places as part of social or physical distancing norms.

“Lockdown continues to be strictly enforced in Covid-19 hotspots and containment zones with additional deployment of police personnel and enhanced vigil,” said the official.

Barricades and road blocks have been placed in the no-go areas to ensure that the people stay at home and stop vehicular movement.

“As all areas can’t be manned or policed, drones are being used in Bengaluru and Mysuru to keep vigil on lockdown violators and seize vehicles trespassing barricades,” the official said.

Of the 30 Karnataka districts, 13 are red spots with 12-91 positive cases, 8 orange spots with 1-11 cases and 10 green spots with no cases since March.

Trucks have resumed ferrying essential goods, including agriculture and horticulture produce.

As public transport services would remain shut till May 3, private vehicles with the police pass had been allowed for emergency services and personnel commuting from home to office and back in hotspots, the official said.

The partial relaxation has also enabled industrial units, micro, small and medium enterprises to resume operations.

Manufacture of essential goods, like drugs, pharma products, medical devices, raw materials and intermediaries, food processing industries in rural areas and packaging materials has also been allowed.

–IANS

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