Govt rules out another lockdown in Bengaluru
Rumours and speculation of another complete lockdown in Bengaluru over the past few days owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases, were spiked on Thursday with the government ruling out the possibility for now.
Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said the question of another complete lockdown did not arise. “Revival of the economy has only just started and livelihoods are important. The situation in the City is under control and not alarming. There is no need for a complete lockdown again,” he said.
Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has called an all-party meeting of elected representatives from the city on Friday to take them into confidence.
Sources said that Mr. Yediyurappa, who also the Finance portfolio, is concerned about the health of the State exchequer and the havoc another lockdown may cause. “Discussions with medical experts have indicated that the spurt in COVID-19 cases may be controlled by other measures rather than a complete lockdown. The government may announce a few more stringent measures, including thinning of crowds at market places and regulating the entry of people from COVID hotspot States such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu,” a senior Minister said.
Earlier in the day Mr. Yediyurappa put the onus on citizens to bring down the numbers. “Whether there will be another lockdown will depend on the people. If they do not want it, they should cooperate with the government, wear masks, maintain social distancing and take all prescribed precautionary measures to check the spread of the virus,” he said.
He pointed out that when compared with other cities, the situation in Bengaluru is not that alarming. “But it is true we are seeing a spurt of clusters, especially in slums which is a cause for concern. We have sealed certain areas, which will continue for now,” he added.
BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar, too, later said that no new areas would be sealed for now.
On Thursday, Mr. Yediyurappa, chaired a meeting with Ministers and officers to review the COVID-19 situation in the city. The government is preparing for a contingency plan with additional beds made available for COVID-19 treatment in lieu of the spike in cases expected over the coming weeks.