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COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: Cabinet allows one-time movement of stranded citizens

Even as Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa cautioned that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis would last a couple of months more, he announced the government's decision to allow industries outside containment zones to operate from May 4.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: April 30, 2020 9:38:52 pm
COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: Cabinet allows one-time movement of stranded citizen, NIMHANS readies plan to address post-pandemic stress In the wake of relaxing lockdown restrictions for industries outside red zones in the state, Madhuswamy further added that inter-district passes will be issued to those in charge of such units after validating their reasons. (PTI Photo)

The Karnataka Cabinet Thursday decided to allow one-time movement of people stranded in different districts and states to their native places. It also decided that those from other states stranded in the state will be allowed to exit Karnataka beginning Friday.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said, “The government will allow students, tourists, labourers and others stranded in Karnataka with valid reasons to travel back to their home states. The government will arrange buses at a nominal fare for large groups wanting to travel to their natives.”

He added those returning to Karnataka will be thoroughly screened and tested first.

In the wake of relaxing lockdown restrictions for industries outside red zones in the state, Madhuswamy further added that inter-district passes will be issued to those in charge of such units after validating their reasons.

‘Industries outside containment zones can operate from May 4’

Even as Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa cautioned that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis would last a couple of months more, he announced the government’s decision to allow industries outside containment zones to operate from May 4.

Adding to an earlier order to allow industrial operations to resume in green zones, Yediyurappa said, “We have asked industrialists to begin preparations to resume operations from May 4. Even though our pursuit against the novel coronavirus pandemic is expected to continue for another two to three months, ensuring economic activity in a parallel manner is also important.”

Clarifying that operations in industries in red zones will remain halted, Yediyurappa added that guidelines from the Union Government is awaited on steps to be taken after May 4. The government will act accordingly, he said.

The CM also assured that the government will consider the demands of workers and industrialists ‘compassionately’ and discuss with officers to respond positively keeping in mind the constraints of the government.

Earlier during a meeting with industrialists, the government had clarified that the labour department would provide permission to factory owners to extend working hours.

The meeting was attended by Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, Labour Minister Arabail Shivarama Hebbar, representatives of FKCCI, KASSIA, FICCI, CII, AWAKE, ASSOCHAM, BCIC, Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs and other organisations.

Used masks should be disposed scientifically: Medical Education Minister

Stressing on the importance of disposing used masks scientifically, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Thursday said such masks should be disposed as per the guidelines issued by the government, similar to medical waste.

“We have received several complaints about improper disposal of masks. While medical staff should dispose surgical masks scientifically in similar ways of how N 95 masks and PPE kits are disposed, citizens need not use surgical masks. Instead, cotton masks shall be used. However, disposing them in public places, or water bodies is an offence,” Sudhakar said.

Speaking to reporters in Mandya, Sudhakar added that Karnataka has been appreciated at the national level for containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The 4T model – Trace, Test, Track, Treat – which Karnataka has adopted has bee appreciated by many at the national level,” he said.

National action plan to address mental issues in post-pandemic times ready: NIMHANS

Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) has prepared a national action plan to address mental health and psycho-social issues among citizens during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Confirming this, Dr Naveen Kumar of NIMHANS told the Karnataka High Court that the action plan is likely to be announced soon by the central government.

Further, he added that NIMHANS added that their helplines have so far provided counselling to over 16,000 callers across 21 states and union territories.

“Over 300 professionals from across 21 states and UTs attend calls through a cloud-based interactive voice recording system of NIMHANS, to ensure counselling to the needy,” Dr Kumar apprised a special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice B V Nagarathna. The bench was hearing several PIL petitions filed related to various issues surfacing due to the lockdown in the state.

According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, as many as 56,584 counselling sessions have been held for patients, contacts and migrants in Karnataka so far.

Bengaluru: BBMP identifies containment zones in 24 wards

With 74 active cases of COVID-19 in Bengaluru, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has identified containment zones in 24 wards in the city.

According to the data shared by the BBMP COVID-19 War Room, 10 of these containment zones (as on April 30) fall under BBMP South Zone, while five are in wards in the BBMP East Zone.

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