The Karnataka government Friday decided to bear the travel cost of migrant workers stranded in the state going back to their home towns in Shramik Special trains till May 31.
“The Government has considered the plea of migrant workers who were unable to bear the travel expenditure to go back to their hometown. The government considers migrant workers, who have come from far-flung parts of our country, as our own people and it is my firm belief that they too must be supported by the State,” Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said in a tweet.
Welcoming the move, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D K Shivakumar said, “Thank you CM Yediyurappa for favourably considering the Congress party’s demands to take up the cause of our nation builders.”
As on 3.30 pm on Friday, the South Western Railway has operated 122 such trains for migrants to different states in the country ferrying over 1.7 lakh passengers.
Fresh cases on steady rise as more Maharashtra returnees test positive
The total number of novel coronavirus cases in Karnataka rose to 1,743 as 138 fresh cases were reported on Friday, of which 116 are of returnees from other states.
“These include 111 people who reached Karnataka from Maharashtra, and two each from Telangana, Jharkhand, and Delhi,” Education Minister S Suresh Kumar who is Karnataka’s official Covid-19 spokesperson said.
The number of active cases across the state crossed the 1,000-mark for the first time, with the total number rising to 1,080. While the total number of cases crossed 1,000 on May 15 itself- after over two months since the first confirmed case in Bengaluru on March 8 – over 700 fresh cases were reported in the last week alone.
Given the spike in cases, especially due to returnees from other states, the state government had revised its Covid-19 testing protocol on Thursday making it mandatory for returnees from six states to undergo testing, even if they are asymptomatic.
The states identified by the Karnataka government are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
The new cases confirmed on Friday include 47 from Chikkaballapura, 14 from Hassan, ten from Raichur, nine from Bidar, eight from Mandya, five each from Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, three each from Davangere, Udupi, Haveri, two each from Yagdir, Dharwad, Shivamogga, and one each from Belagavi, Bagalkote, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, and Chitradurga.
BBMP collects Rs 3.43 lakh fine for not wearing masks
Bengaluru’s local civic body the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Friday stated that it has collected a penalty amount of Rs 3,43,000 from citizens for not wearing masks or covering faces.
— Express Bengaluru (@IEBengaluru) May 22, 2020
According to the statistics shared by the BBMP Commissioner Anil Kumar, most violations were reported from East Zone (584) followed by Mahadevapura Zone (277) in the city since May 5.
A total of 1,715 citizens were fined for violating the order so far, Kumar said.
While the penalty was set at Rs 1,000 for violations, BBMP had later revised the same to Rs 200 for the first and subsequent offences as per the government notification of the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Regulations, 2020.
Aarogya Setu app helps state identify 2,732 suspect cases so far
Explaining how the Aarogya Setu mobile application has helped the state identify Covid-19 cases in the state, Suresh Kumar said, “Karnataka could identify 2732 suspect coronavirus cases tracking the Bluetooth proximity feature available in Aarogya Setu application. Of these, 330 were tested 31 turned out to be positive till May 20.”
The Aarogya Setu application, with the help of a mobile phone’s Bluetooth and location data, allows its users know if they were near a person with Covid-19 after scanning a database of reported cases of infection.
Sharing statistics on the number of downloads of the Aarogya Setu application – developed by the Government of India – Education Minister Suresh Kumar had said that over 63.5 lakh people have downloaded the same in Karnataka.
“As many as 63,53,248 people have downloaded the application on their smartphones in the state so far. Of these, 28,53,306 users are from Bengaluru alone,” he had said.
Further, statistics issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services indicated that 763 cases are from contacts (primary or secondary) of Covid-19 patients (as on 12 noon, May 21).
Karnataka achieves 10,000 daily Covid-19 test target
After having tested 12,229 people so far for coronavirus on Friday, the government aims to step up its testing capability. “The government has tested beyond the target set earlier this month on May 22 itself. 1,86,526 samples have been tested so far in Karnataka,” Kumar added.
Earlier this month, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar had said that the state would enhance its testing facility to conduct at least 10,000 tests per day by May 30.
More relaxations for inter-district movement
Announcing more relaxations for the movement of people and exemptions for economic activities, the Karnataka government Friday decided to stop operating district check-posts for health screening across the state.
Confirming the same, Karnataka Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said that any such health screening would instead be done at the origin of the journey. “Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel using public transport (buses and trains). Those with symptoms will be taken to fever clinics for further examination,” he said.
An official order regarding the same also mentioned that no health screening will be held for passengers travelling by private vehicles across districts in Karnataka.
Karnataka SSLC: Students from containment zones to attend exams later
Students residing in the containment zones will not be allowed to appear in the Karnataka SSLC exams scheduled to be held from June 25.
According to Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar such students will instead be treated as fresh candidates. “They will be allowed to attend the exams later. Fresh sets of hall tickets and marks cards will be issued for such candidates,” he said.
The examinations for these students are likely to be conducted along with supplementary exams that usually take place later, the minister said.
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