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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: No relief in lockdown measures till May 3; ten districts pandemic-free

Agriculture, horticulture and floriculture sectors will be allowed to function along with essential goods and supplies units.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: April 20, 2020 11:45:45 pm
Karnataka COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic Bengaluru news Yediyurappa Karnataka updates Meanwhile, with 18 fresh COVID-19 cases confirmed positive in the state on Monday, the total number of cases rose to 408. Express Photo/Ralph Alex Arakal

“The lockdown will continue as it is till May 3. No partial relaxations in non-confinement areas as announced earlier (on Saturday) will be allowed,” the Cabinet decided Monday.

However, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said after the meeting that the state government is awaiting guidelines from the Centre to check if relaxations could be considered. “The Chief Minister will discuss this with the task force in 3-4 days.”

Earlier on April 18, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had announced that some businesses including construction work and industries would be allowed to function after April 20 among several other measures to ease lockdown measures in areas except containment zones and hotspots in the state. The Cabinet decision, however, superseded those announcements Monday.

At the same time, the Cabinet clarified that agriculture, horticulture and floriculture sectors will be allowed to function along with essential goods and supplies units. “No restriction will be imposed on procurement, marketing, and transportation for the functioning of these sectors, Madhuswamy said.

COVID-19 cases cross 400-mark in Karnataka, 112 recovered so far

Meanwhile, with 18 fresh COVID-19 cases confirmed positive in the state on Monday, the total number of cases rose to 408.

Of the new cases, 11 are in Vijayapura, five in Kalaburagi and one each are from Gadag and Bidar districts.

Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, who is Karnataka’s official spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters, said 10 districts out of the total 30 in the state have not reported any novel coronavirus to date. “These are Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Haveri, Kolar, Koppal, Raichur, Ramanagara, Shivamogga, and Yadgiri,” he said, adding that several districts have not seen new positive cases for a considerable amount of time.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, these include Kodagu (no case in 32 days), Chitradurga (26 days), Davangere (25 days), and Udupi (22 days) among others.

Interestingly, no new cases have been reported from capital city Bengaluru in the last couple of days. As per the Karnataka COVID-19 dashboard maintained and updated online by the State Disaster Management Authority, 24.3 per cent of the total cases in the state are from Bengaluru Urban district. Mysuru is second on the list (20.3%) with 84 cases of the total 408 in Karnataka.

1,960 tested in Nanjangud — Karnataka’s largest COVID-19 cluster

“Of the 2,098 people belonging to the Nanjangud cluster quarantined till now, as many as 1,960 have been tested, of which 69 have tested COVID-19 positive till date,” Kumar said, explaining the statistics from those related to cases from the pharma firm Jubilant Generics Ltd which based in the Nanjangud region of Mysuru.

He added that while 1,483 employees of the pharma were tested so far, swabs collected from 477 family members and primary contacts of them have also been sent for the same. “Results of 138 among them are still awaited,” Kumar said.

Of the remaining positive cases confirmed in Mysuru district (till April 20, 5 pm), 10 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster while the rest are those who had a travel history to other countries, Kumar added.

Traffic snarls in Bengaluru: Karnataka DGP takes Commissioner to task

With lockdown measures still in force, the infamous Bengaluru traffic made a brief comeback in some areas of the city Monday morning, taking many by surprise.

Among many who took to social media to criticise the traffic snarls was a former minister and Byatarayanapura MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, who posted a couple of photographs with his tweet.

“#LockDown Confusion? Central and State Govt should Speak with one voice. Relax or Not to relax? Lack of deliberation is showing as confusion, citizens will interpret as they like. Look at the jam ‘benefits of so-far efforts will be lost. Government Pls speak with one voice.,” he tweeted.

Just a few hours later, Karnataka DG & IGP Praveen Sood took Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao to task directing him to intensify the checking of passes issued for movement in the city.

“Suddenly, a large movement of vehicles is noticed. The barricades which had effectively enforced lockdown till yesterday, have suddenly disappeared. Even where barricades are existing, there are no policemen and officers to check and enforce passes,” Sood stated in an internal memo issued on Monday.

KSOU launces self-developed app for online classes

The Karnataka State Open University Monday announced the launch of its own online video conferencing platform named ‘KSOU Connect’.

The novel online platform is student and teacher-friendly and has features like personalised meeting/classroom setup, single-click link to join meeting/class, user authentication, multi-device support, recording meetings, and whiteboard option to bring back classroom environment among other salient features, KSOU Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. Vidyashankar said.

The faculty and students should use this instead of ‘Zoom’ to engage students online, the VC directed.

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