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Karnataka COVID-19 wrap: Govt says 58.10 lakh Aarogya Setu downloads so far; Congress to cover train ticket of needy

In a bid to revoke district-wise zoning, the state government has proposed to the Centre that lockdown measures be enforced strictly only in containment zones and not for an entire district.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bangalore | Updated: May 11, 2020 10:05:21 pm
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Apprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the COVID-19 situation in Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Monday said there have been 58,10,813 downloads of the Aarogya Setu app in the state so far.

“The Aarogya Setu has been integrated with ApthaMitra for telephonic monitoring and the treatment of suspect cases. It is vital to educate the population with the right positive messaging,” Yediyurappa added.

Further presenting the state’s progress of dealing with the pandemic, Yediyurappa said the ‘4 T’ approach of the government — Tracing, Tracking, Testing and Treating — has largely contributed towards keeping the numbers of coronavirus positive cases comparatively low.

“Our government has increased the number of testing facilities on a war-footing basis. While we had only two labs with a testing capacity of about 300 per day in February, we have 35 labs with a testing capacity exceeding 6000 tests per day now. We are on track to set up 60 labs by the month of this month,” the CM added.

Karnataka proposes to revoke district-wise zoning

In a bid to revoke district-wise zoning, the state government has proposed to the Centre that lockdown measures be enforced strictly only in containment zones and not for an entire district.

“We propose to do away with dividing districts into red, orange, and green zones. Only containment zones should be identified and strictly cordoned; 50 to 100 meters around known clusters may be declared as containment zones. Also, commercial activities including public transport should be allowed in non-containment zones,” CM Yediyurappa proposed during the meeting with PM Modi.

However, the state government recommended the Centre not to permit all domestic and international travel at least till the end of May. “While international travelers (returning back home from stranded areas) should be placed under compulsory institutional quarantine for 14 days, interstate travelers should be placed under compulsory institutional quarantine and tested,” the Karnataka government suggested.

Congress will cover rail ticket costs for the needy: D K Shivakumar

The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Monday announced that the party would cover train ticket costs for those seeking financial assistance to travel back to their native places.

KPCC president D K Shivakumar, Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha MP D K Suresh and other leaders met Bengaluru Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ashok Verma to discuss the same.

“We have asked the Bengaluru DRM to provide us with a list of needy travelers wishing to return home and that we will bear their ticket costs,” Shivakumar said.

“KPCC will deposit the necessary amount with the stations directly. We are committed to help our nation builders during this crisis,” the letter submitted to the DRM mentioned.

Special train from Bengaluru to New Delhi daily from May 12

Two out of the total 30 trains scheduled to be operated by the Indian Railways will connect Bengaluru to New Delhi and other cities en route. The trains will operate after nearly two months of suspension of passenger operations in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country.

While the train departing from Bengaluru (Train 02691) daily is scheduled to leave at 8.30 pm to reach New Delhi at 5.55 am on the third day, the train for Bengaluru from New Delhi (Train 02692) is scheduled to depart at 9.15 pm daily. This train is expected to reach the destination at 6.40 am on the third day.

“En route, the train will have stoppages at Anantpur, Guntakal Jn, Secunderabad Jn, Nagpur, Bhopal Jn, and Jhansi Jn.,” the South Western Railway said in a statement released on Monday.

However, the SWR has clarified that all passengers shall be compulsorily screened, and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train.

“No catering charges shall be included in the fare. Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on a payment basis,” the statement added.

Further, passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water. “Dry, ready-to-eat food and bottled water shall be provided on demand, inside the trains on payment basis,” an SWR official added.

Govt should bring back Kannadigas stranded in Maharashtra: Siddarmaiah

Urging the Karnataka government to bring back Kannadigas working in the hotel industry in neighbouring Maharashtra, Karnataka Congress Legislative Party Leader Siddaramaiah Monday demanded swift action from the authorities.

In a series of tweets, the former Karnataka CM said, “Thousands of Kannadigas who are working in hotels of Mumbai are left stranded without salary, food & shelter. @CMofKarnataka should arrange transportation to get them back to our state and arrange for screening & quarantine facilities.”

He further accused the state government of neglecting citizens from Karnataka while all other states are making facilities for their migrants to return from Maharashtra.

“Migrant workers are going back to their states from Maharashtra, except those from Karnataka. @CMOMaharashtra claims lack of response & support from Karnataka govt for this fiasco. @CMofKarnataka should resolve the issue at the earliest,” he added.

Siddarmaiah also pointed out that there are allegations that the hotel owners in Maharashtra are lobbying the state government there to grant lockdown relaxation to the industry. “This is an alleged reason for not arranging train facilities by both Karnataka & Maharashtra,” he said.

He further demanded that Karnataka CM Yediyurappa should discuss ways to arrange train and bus facilities for those stranded in Maharashtra with Uddhav Thackeray.

10 new cases, recovery rate 49.41% in state

With 14 more new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Karnataka on Monday, the tally rose to 862. Interestingly, the number of new cases identified in the state in the last 24 hours is less when compared to the daily average spike of over 47 that the state witnessed from May 8 to 10.

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