In an important decision taken after a meeting with ministers, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa Sunday announced that the State will reimburse the train fare for those who return from other states by train.
“However, they (returnees) will be mandatorily tested for COVID 19, even if they were tested in another state. If someone dies in another state, their body shall not be brought to the State. Their last rites shall be performed, wherever they are,” the CM said explaining the decision
At the same time, it has been decided that those passing away in the state should get their last rites done in Karnataka itself, including those from other states.
“A government order comprising all final decisions taken with regard to COVID-19 containment and related processes in the state will be released on Monday,” a government official told Indianexpress.com after the meeting.
Karnataka records 54 new cases, biggest spike in a day
With 53 new cases confirmed in Karnataka in the last 12 hours, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in the state are now 847.
According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, 22 of these are from Belagavi. With the new additions, the north Karnataka district now has 105 cases, behind capital city Bengaluru as the district with the most cases in the state.
Meanwhile, Shimoga and Bagalkote recorded eight new cases each as seven more from Uttara Kannada, three more from Bengaluru and Kalaburagi, and one each from Davangere and Chikkaballapura comprise the other new cases confirmed as on 12 noon on Sunday.
As on Saturday, Karnataka had tested over a lakh people since the pandemic broke out earlier in March. Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar K had said, “We are boosting our testing capacity to have 60 labs by end of this month and will be able to conduct 10,000 tests per day.”
56-year-old succumbs to SARI in Bengaluru, death toll 31
With the death of a 56-year-old female patient (P-846) linked to COVID-19 in Bengaluru on Sunday, the death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Karnataka rose to 31.
According to health officials, the patient had succumbed to Severe Acute Respiratory Infection on Monday (May 4) but was tested COVID-19 positive on Saturday (May 9).
#COVID19: With 53 new #COVID19 cases confirmed, total in #Karnataka is now 847. This is the biggest spike in number of cases in a single day so far. Discharges: 405. Deaths: 31. @IndianExpress (12 noon, May 10) pic.twitter.com/8D0FGvGLq8
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) May 10, 2020
Six more Shramik Specials depart from Bengaluru
Karnataka continued to operate Shramik Specials for migrants on Sunday as four more trains departed from stations on the outskirts of Bengaluru. While three trains left Malur for Bankura (West Bengal), Danapur (Bihar), and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), three others departed from Chikkabanavara for Udhampur (Kashmir), Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) and Agartala (Tripura).
According to South Western Railway (SWR) officials, each passenger is provided meals prepared by base kitchens operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
Young Sayan Mondal is happy that he boarded a #ShramikSpecial train back home from Bengaluru. “I have come from West Bengal. I’m very happy that I can return home,” he says with a happy thumbs-up 👍 just before the train left Malur for Bankura. @IndianExpress @ralpharakal pic.twitter.com/6phmBiNAxG
— Express Bengaluru (@IEBengaluru) May 10, 2020
“While trains have no pantry cars attached to them as a precautionary measure, SWR ensures that the passengers are provided food from IRCTC base kitchens. Three meals are provided each day during the journey and food is delivered at operational stops,” SWR Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya told Indianexpress.com
Another railway official added, “While each passenger boards the train, a packet meal is provided. This includes a packet of cooked rice, chapati, biscuits, cookies, and pickle.”
Passengers allowed to travel in Shramik Specials are requested to reach a common point, mostly a police station, where verification of documents and medical examination takes place.
Officials explained that those verified will be then taken to the railway station in disinfected buses provided by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
“Once they reach the station, railway and police personnel briefs them about the journey and advises them on how to keep social distancing and to be safe throughout the journey. While boarding, each passenger is verified again and food packets are distributed,” the official added.
Expatriates’ return to Karnataka: CM meets ministers
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa met other ministers in the state on Sunday to discuss preparedness for quarantining Kannadigas returning from other states and countries. As discussed in the meeting, ministers advised the CM to ensure that all Kannadigas returning home form other states to get them registered online first.
“Only those who were stranded in other states due to lockdown to be allowed. They must inform their place of arrival and date while registering. They will be allowed according to the availability of quarantining facilities,” the ministers suggested. Other steps discussed included not sending returning Kannadigas to their villages on arrival and instead keep them in quarantine for 14 days.
Meanwhile, it was also suggested that the State should reimburse the train fare for those who return from other states by train. “They (returnees) must be tested for COVID 19, even if they were tested in another state. If someone dies in another state, their body shall not be brought to the State. Their last rites shall be performed, wherever they are,” the council suggested to the CM.
At the same time, it was suggested that those passing away in the state should get their last rites done in Karnataka itself, including those from other states. “Final decisions on the said suggestions will be taken after meeting with top bureaucrats and others,” a government official told Indianexpress.com after the meeting.
KSRTC opens helplines to facilitate inter-state transport
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Sunday decided to begin operating helpline numbers to provide information on inter-state transport facilities. However, officials clarified that the facility can be used only by Seva Sindhu e-pass holders approved by the government to travel back to their hometowns in other states.
“The helpline numbers will be in operation from May 11 (Monday),” officials added, issuing a list of telephone numbers for travel to neighbouring states.
The numbers are as follows:
Tamil Nadu/ Pondicherry: 7760990100, 7760990560, 7760990034, 7760990035, 7760991295
Andhra Pradesh/ Telangana: 7760990561, 7760990532, 7760990955, 7760990530, 7760990967
Kerala State: 7760990287, 7760990988, 7760990531,6366423895, 6366423896
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