With the deadly second wave of Covid infections spreading in rural parts of the state, Karnataka on Friday decided to extend its lockdown, slated till May 24, till June 7.
After a meeting with experts, senior bureaucrats and ministers here, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa told reporters that the state government has also decided to bear the medical expenses for treatment of mucormycosis, or ‘black fungus’, in government hospitals.
There is already a 14-day lockdown in force till May 24, while the government had also imposed corona curfew from April 27.
Answering to a question, the Chief Minister said that there will be no changes in the restrictions but observed that people were still breaching lockdown protocols and this has forced the police to take action against such violators.
“The state government has given full freedom to police to impose regulations strictly in this fortnight. Though as per rules, the essential shops are supposed to close at 10 a.m. but the police will start imposing rules from 9.45 a.m. itself, which means to say that common man who comes to buy essentials must finish his billing before 9.30 a.m. itself and be ready to leave shop prior to 9.45 a.m.,” he said.
Public transportation, including state road transport corporations buses and Benglauru Metro services, will continue to remain prohibited except for emergencies, like getting vaccinated or for the movement of those employed in essential services.
Yediyurappa said that shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, and animal fodder will be allowed to function from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Hotels, restaurants and eateries shall be permitted to operate kitchens for takeaway/home delivery of food items only. No vehicles will be allowed to be used by persons for taking parcels/takeaway, but hotels and restaurants can use them. Even liquor sale permitted through take away but it is restricted till 10 a.m. unlike hotels/restaurants allowed to operate till night.
He also said that only scheduled flights and trains will continue to operate during this period, and flight and train tickets shall serve as the passes for movement of persons by personal vehicles/taxis/cab aggregators/auto rickshaws to airport and stations.
Seeking to allaying fears about black fungus disease, the CM said that the mucormycosis is a very rare infection and it is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables. “This is a very old disease and doctors are aware of treatment for this disease, therefore, there is no worry on this front. We have decided to waive off the expenses of this disease for those who get treated in government hospitals,” he said.