Karnataka for stricter lockdown to stem Covid in rural areas

In an effort to curb the surge of Covid in the state’s rural areas, Karnataka on Thursday hinted that it was contemplating stricter implementation of lockdown by measures to control unnecessary movement of people.

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters that in the days to come, measures like seizures of vehicles of those indulging in unnecessary movement will be made more stringent.

He said that several districts have already imposed various levels of restrictions to try to stem infections but the government feels that there is a need for stricter implementation of these measures.

“For instance, in Yadgir, five people were riding on a motorcycle to attend a marriage… when the pandemic situation is so grim, how can the people behave in such a manner? Should the police turn blind eye or should it not implement rules strictly?” he said in response to a query.

Bommai argued that sometimes taking strict actions becomes a necessity to control pandemics like Covid in rural parts.

“People need to cooperate with the police to make the lockdown successful,” he said.

Bommai also said that several leaders, ministers and experts have suggested extending the lockdown for a few more weeks would help the state to break the chain.

Karnataka had initially announced 14-day partial lockdown from April 27 but with no sign of the second wave of Covid subsiding, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa enforced a 14-day lockdown from May 10 to May 24.

In response to a question, Bommai said that a decision on the extension of lockdown will be announced on May 23.