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Karnataka Bengaluru March 19 Highlights: 925 new Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, state capital now has 12 containment zones

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus (Covid-19) Latest News March 19 Highlights: Nearly 72 per cent of the total 11,359 cases in the state are in Bengaluru alone.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 20, 2021 10:36:20 am
COVID-19 test, Coronavirus TestFive of the 12 containment zones were identified in the last 24 hours. Express Photo: Praveen Khanna

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus News March 19 Highlights: As many as 925 more people contracted coronavirus infection in Bengaluru on Thursday, as the capital city continued to report most among all districts in Karnataka. Meanwhile, the number of active containment zones in the city rose to 12, with five of them identified in the last 24 hours.

At the same time, 1488 cases were reported from across the state with eight more deaths linked to the pandemic on March 18. Nearly 72 per cent of the total 11,359 cases in the state are in Bengaluru alone. Other districts that reported most cases on Thursday are Dakshina Kannada (64), Kalaburagi (59), Bidar (53), and Mysuru (49).

Live Blog

Catch the latest news in Bengaluru and Karnataka as we bring you live updates on COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across the state and more throughout the day. Also read Chennai Hyderabad news

18:34 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Bengaluru: BBMP plans to recommend closing gyms, swimming pools, party halls in apartments to control coronavirus spread

In a bid to control the rise in new Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike is likely to recommend the Karnataka government to close gyms, swimming pools, community halls in apartments, and open-air gyms in parks. 

"We will recommend closure of gyms, swimming pools and party or community halls in apartments in the city, besides closure of open-air gyms in all BBMP parks," BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said on Friday. He added that preliminary discussions had already taken place between BBMP officials and top officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare. 

The civic body chief added that five zones, namely East, West, South, Mahadevapura, and Bommanahalli, have been reporting more than 100 cases a day. Prasad added that bringing down the occupancy to 50 per cent in cinema halls and theatres leaving alternate seats vacant was also another likely recommendation.

18:19 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Fuel price hike: Siddaramaiah accuses Modi-led govt of 'looting' common man

With criticism growing against the central government due to the recent hike in fuel prices, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Friday accused the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of "looting" the common man.

The leader of opposition in the Karnataka assembly remarked that the hike in fuel prices has affected the purchasing power of citizens. "The Narendra Modi government has broken the spine of the common man by increasing the taxes on petrol/diesel. Excise duty currently levied on petrol is Rs 32.98 and Rs 31.83 on each litre of petrol and diesel respectively. At the end of UPA-II, excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.21 and Rs 3.45 per litre, respectively," he stated.

Later, in a series of tweets, the senior Congress leader said petrol prices should have dropped with the dip in crude oil price but prices rose multiple times instead. "In 2014, crude oil price per barrel in the international market was Rs 6,794 but now it is just Rs 4,008. Who is responsible for this?" he tweeted.

18:07 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka govt mulling free sand policy for poor: Minister

The Karnataka government is mulling making available sand almost free of cost for economically weaker sections people wishing to build a house under Rs 10 lakh, Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani told the state assembly on Friday.

He agreed that getting quality sand, especially by the economically poor people at a reasonable price.

"With a view to making available sand to the poor people at a low price, our government is contemplating introducing free-sand policy," he said, responding to a question by JD(S) member C N Balakrishna. 

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17:48 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka: Health Minister urges people to donate blood ahead of possible second wave

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar Friday urged citizens, social organisations, and volunteers to cooperate with the government to raise awareness about blood donation, citing the ongoing Covid-19 situation. 

"We are anticipating a second wave of Covid-19 infection and people need to be cautious. We may require more blood during these times. In times like these, social organisations and volunteers should come forward and join hands with the government to increase blood donation camps and initiatives," he said.

16:59 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Bengaluru-based Stelis Biopharma to make 200 million doses of Sputnik V Covid vaccine

Stelis Biopharma, the biopharmaceutical arm of Bengaluru-headquartered Strides Pharma Science, will be making and supplying at least 200 million doses of Sputnik V, the Russian Covid-19 vaccine currently awaiting emergency authorisation in India.

The latest agreement is expected to increase India’s capacity to make this vaccine to around 550 million doses a year.

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16:24 (IST)19 Mar 2021
IN PICS | SUCI protests fuel hike, privatisation

Members of SUCI (Communist) Karnataka State Committee participated in a protest held in Bengaluru against the "unprecedented" fuel hike, "pro-corporate" policies of state/central governments, and the Centre's privatisation policy. A march was held from City Railway Station to Freedom Park on Friday. 

"Even before the people of the country recovered from the painful effects of lockdown and the pandemic, people have been further jolted by unprecedented price rise of all essential commodities and severe loss of income. The BJP-led central government has failed to control price rise in the country," K Uma, State Secretary of SUCI (C) Karnataka State said.

15:18 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Bengaluru: Families defying home quarantine contributes to new Covid-19 clusters in Yelahanka

As Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) stepped up micromanagement of Covid-19 cases ahead of a possible second wave, two families residing in the Yelahanka zone were found to be at the heart of two clusters. Incidentally, officials found both these families to have defied home quarantine rules before testing positive for the infection.

One among them was a family that chose to visit ISKCON temple despite being asked to stay indoors by officials of the local civic body governing the Karnataka capital. 

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15:06 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka CM condoles death of former Minister HT Krishnappa

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Friday condoled the death of former minister and  Nagamangala legislator H T Krishnappa. "He (Krishnappa) was instrumental in the development of Nagamangala in Mandya and had also served as the Health Minister in the Ramakrishna Hegde-led cabinet. He was also known as a popular theatre artist," Yediyurappa remembered. 

Krishnappa had succumbed to a cardiac arrest in Bengaluru on Thursday. 

According to his family, the funeral is planned to be held at Nagamangala on Friday.

12:55 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Service during pandemic, Ram Mandir Abhiyan showcases resilience, cultural unity: RSS' Manmohan Vaidya

Lauding the service of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) cadres during the coronavirus pandemic and in generating donations towards building Ram Mandhir in Ayodhya, RSS Sah Sarkaryavah (Joint General Secretary) Manmohan Vaidya remarked that the same showcased resilience and cultural unity among the people of the country.

"As many as 5.7 lakh RSS karyakartas served at 92,656 locations in the country (during the pandemic). Ration was distributed to around 73 lakh needy people and food packets were distributed to 4.5 crore people. 90 lakh masks were distributed and more than 60,000 units of blood were donated. Swayamsevaks have also helped more than 20 lakh migrant workers and nearly 2.5 lakh nomadic people have been served during this period," he noted. 

He added, "Other than RSS, many social organisations including temples, trusts, mathas, gurdwaras, have worked to serve the society. This aspect is unique to India." Vaidya added that 5,45,737 locations were covered by 20 lakh members of the RSS cadre as part of the Ram Mandir campaign. "They were able to contact 12.47 crore people so far," he said. 

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the two-day Pratinidhi Sabha meeting held at Chennenahalli in Bengaluru on Friday.

12:39 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Knew woman in sex CD: missing suspect in video

A key missing suspect in a case of an alleged attempt to extort money from former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi has issued a video statement from an undisclosed location, claiming that he had interacted with the young woman in the purported sex CD, who is also missing, on more than a dozen occasions. He claimed that she told him about her grievances.

Naresh Gowda, a former journalist who worked for multiple local TV channels and is considered by police as a key figure in the case, also claimed that he was not linked to the alleged efforts to extort and blackmail Jarkiholi, but knew the woman and was aware of her grievances.

In the video, Gowda said he is in hiding because he fears being framed in the case.

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12:02 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka bypolls: Congress announces two candidates, JD(S) one; BJP yet to finalise

The Congress Party Thursday announced candidates for the upcoming assembly bypolls to two seats in Karnataka while the Janata Dal (Secular) has so far announced a candidate for one seat. The ruling BJP is yet to finalise candidates. Party General Secretary Arun Singh is holding meetings in the city and an announcement is likely soon.

Bye-elections to Basavakalyan (in Bidar) and Maski (in Raichur) is scheduled to be held on April 17, while the same for Sindagi is yet to be announced.

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11:13 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka likely to begin next academic year from July 15

The Karnataka government has indicated that the next academic year for schools is likely to begin on July 15. “We (the state government) are planning to begin the next academic year on July 15. We desire to do so considering the goodwill and educational progress of our children. However, we have to keep the current Covid-19 situation in mind as well,” Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said in Tumkur.

He added that the challenge posed by the situation this time is different from the same experienced last year. “We will discuss the matter further with officials of the health department before finalising the decision,” he said.

The minister further noted that there was pressure on the government from private school managements to allow them to hold offline classes from class 1 itself. “Last year (ongoing academic year), offline classes were permitted for students from Class 6 and upwards but there is a high demand from private schools to extend this to students from Class 1 itself for the next year,” he remarked.

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10:40 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Cyber police advise caution after rounding up online extortion gang in Bengaluru

The cybercrime department of the Bengaluru City Police has urged people to be cautious while sharing intimate content online to people they befriended on social media.

“Citizens are requested to exercise utmost caution while dealing with any stranger on social media and should make it a practice of using the privacy controls in mobile devices as well as in applications,” Umesh Kumar, ADGP, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said.

Explaining the modus operandi in a case cracked recently with the arrest of a gang of four, senior CID officers said that the fraudsters targeted the general public on social media accounts to gather their personal information. “Such fraudsters send requests to men on social media pretending to be a woman. Later, they urge men to come on video calls and to share private/intimate photos and videos, which would later be used for blackmailing and extorting money,” a CID official said.

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10:16 (IST)19 Mar 2021
'Abused, threatened since Zomato row, haven’t left city to evade probe’: Hitesha Chandranee

Denying rumours that she left the city to evade police investigation, Instagram influencer Hitesha Chandranee — who accused a Zomato employee of assaulting her while delivering her food — has said she is cooperating with the probe.

“I have been cooperating with the police and have not left Bengaluru as spread by various quarters. Bengaluru is home for me,” she said in a written statement shared on her Instagram profile.

Chandranee further stated that she had been harassed, abused, and threatened. “I have had to take medical treatment for my nose which was fractured due to the incident. I have received many calls from various people using repulsive and threatening words against me,” she wrote.

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09:46 (IST)19 Mar 2021
RSS Pratinidhi Sabha starts today, speculation rife about Bhayyaji Joshi being replaced as Sarkaryawah

As the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) begins its two-day Pratinidhi Sabha meeting at Bengaluru on Friday, the most important outcome to watch would be if the organisation takes the long-awaited decision to usher in a new Sarkaryawah (general secretary).

The sabha is held every year, but the new team is elected after every three years. The Bengaluru meet is the triennial sabha which will elect the new team.

Pratinidhi Sabha is a meeting of top RSS office-bearers from all over the country, along with several other delegates and heads of all Sangh Parivar organisations. This time, a gathering of 450 participants is expected at Bengaluru while many are expected to join online from different parts of the country, adding up to a congregation of about 1,400 people.

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09:19 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Karnataka to step up Covid-19 vaccination to avoid second wave, says Health Minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar Thursday spoke about various plans being taken up by the state government to mitigate “a possible second wave of Covid-19” in the state. In a bid to enhance micromanagement of cases, he said war rooms will begin operations like how they did during peak pandemic last year.

“War rooms will start operating to help the government monitor the situation using real-time data. We have also decided to recruit resident doctors and paramedical staff on a temporary basis,” he said. He added that 200 ambulances have been deployed in Bengaluru in case of an emergency situation.

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08:44 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Covid-19: Bengaluru now has 12 active containment zones

With Bengaluru continuing to report a surge in new Covid-19 cases, local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) identified five more containment zones on Thursday. These include Govardhana Residency, Abhinjna Building BEL Layout, 1st Main Chikkabommasandra (all three in Yelahanka Zone), Admiralty Avenue (East Zone), and Shuva Krupa Nilaya (Dasarahalli Zone). 

With this, the total number of active containment zones rose to 12 in the city. The Karnataka capital reported 925 new cases in the last 24 hours, the most among all districts in the state.

08:22 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Welcome to today's live blog

Good morning!
Welcome to the live blog from Bengaluru where we bring to you the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccination drive, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0, unlock phase 6, BBMP and more across Bengaluru and Karnataka. Follow the blog to stay up to date with the state in real time.

Zomato case In a video shared on social media, Hitesha Chandranee (left) accused Kamaraj (right) of hitting her.

Meanwhile, denying rumours that she left the city to evade police investigation, Instagram influencer Hitesha Chandranee — who accused a Zomato employee of assaulting her while delivering her food — has said she is cooperating with the probe.

READ | ‘Abused, threatened since Zomato row, haven’t left city to evade probe’: Hitesha Chandranee

At the same time, the cybercrime department of the Bengaluru City Police has urged people to be cautious while sharing intimate content online to people they befriended on social media.

READ | Cyber police advise caution after rounding up online extortion gang in Bengaluru

Here are a few contacts that might come in handy for you in emergency situations:

COVID-19 related queries / emergencies / clarifications: 104 (toll free); +91-80-4684-8600/6669-2000 | Find your nearest fever clinic and testing Covid-19 facility here | Home Quarantine-related queries: Telegram messenger/WhatsApp - +91 97777 77684, Voice call - 080 45451111 | BBMP control room: 080-22221188 | In case of power disruptions, contact BESCOM: 1912. If the water supply is hit in your area, contact BWSSB: 1916

Karnataka Bengaluru Coronavirus March 18 Highlights

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