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Karnataka Covid wrap: 142 deaths on Monday, restrictions relaxed in 6 more districts

As the state entered into another phase of relaxation of lockdown measures, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told people not to be under the 'illusion' that the COVID-19 pandemic is gone and asked them to be vigilant and follow all the precautionary preventive measures

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
June 22, 2021 8:35:25 am
People rush to board a city bus at majestic bus stand after further ease in restrictions of COVID-induced lockdown, in Bengaluru (PTI)

Karnataka reported 4,867 new cases of COVID-19 and 142 deaths, taking the total number of infections to 28,11,320 and death toll to 34,025, the health department said on Monday. The day also saw 8,404 discharges, pushing the total number of recoveries to 26,54,139. Bengaluru Urban logged 1,034 new cases, as the city saw 1,976 discharges and 28 deaths. Active cases stodd at 1,23,134.

While the positivity rate for the day stood at 3.25 per cent, case fatality rate (CFR) was at 2.91 per cent. Of the deaths reported on Monday, 28 were from Bengaluru Urban, Mysuru (22), Dakshina Kannada (14), Ballari (12), Dharwad (8), Davangere (7), followed by others.

Mysuru recorded 546 new cases, Dakshina Kannada 542, Hassan 364, Shivamogga 217, Kodagu 206, followed by others. The total number of positive cases in Bengaluru Urban district is at 12,06,293, followed by Mysuru 1,62,629 and Tumakuru 1,13,867.

Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban tops the list with 11,20,507, followed by Mysuru 1,53,702 and Tumakuru 1,09,490. Cumulatively a total of 3,28,89,270 samples have been tested, of which 1,49,731 were tested on Monday alone.

Govt relaxes restrictions in 6 more districts

The Karnataka government on Monday added six more districts to the list of 17 districts under “Unlock 2.0”, where COVID-19 curbs have been relaxed, allowing hotels, gyms, and public transport bus services to resume operations.

Udupi, Bengaluru Rural, Shivamogga, Ballari, Chitradurga and Vijayapura have been placed under Category-1 after considering the weekly moving average positivity rate and also taking into account the consistent declining trend of the COVID-19 case positivity rate, the state government said in its order.

Earlier, the government had issued guidelines on Saturday, further relaxing the Covid-19 curbs in 17 districts where the positivity rate is below 5 per cent, including Bengaluru, that came into effect from 6 am today, allowing all shops to function from 6 am to 5 pm and public transport to resume operations with 50 per cent capacity. In all, the government has now relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in 23 districts.

As the state entered into another phase of relaxation of lockdown measures, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told people not to be under the ‘illusion’ that the COVID-19 pandemic is gone and asked them to be vigilant and follow all the precautionary preventive measures. He said, “COVID numbers have come down than expected, so we decided to relax lockdown restrictions, but the fear of corona still looms large.”

People visit a crowded market area in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)

The 17 districts where most restrictions have been relaxed, to which six more districts were added today, are Bengaluru Urban, Uttara Kannada, Belagavi, Mandya, Koppala, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Kolar, Gadag, Dharwad, Raichur, Bagalkot, Kalaburagi, Haveri, Ramanagara, Yadgir, and Bidar.

In the rest of the districts that have a positivity rate of more than 5 per cent, the existing relaxation which was in place from June 11, will apply, allowing essential shops to be open from 6 am to 2 pm, and movement of people till 7 pm.

Mysuru, where the positivity rate is high, will remain under a strict lockdown until July 5.

Karnataka launches dedicated Covid helpline for specially-abled

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Covid Task Force head Dr C N Ashwatha Narayana rolled out ‘Sakshama’, a Covid helpline earmarked for the specially-abled in Bengaluru.

According to the Deputy CM, the helpline 0120-690-4999 is being operated by an NGO which carries the same name, offering assistance in Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi, Telugu, and Tamil languages.

A worker sprays sanitiser inside a metro coach at Byappanahalli metro station in Bengaluru (PTI)

“All those who are specially abled are eligible to have BPL cards and they should avail the benefit,” he said. Ashwathnarayan also urged NGOs and other voluntary organizations to collaborate with the government in effectively implementing the various programs meant for the welfare of the specially abled.

Bengaluru: Few takers for metro, buses as services resume

As public transport made its way back to track with certain restrictions in Bengaluru on Monday, metro services on the Purple and Green Lines together saw 24,602 passengers between 7 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 6 pm.

Meanwhile, 880 KSRTC buses were in service after departing from Kempegowda Bus Station and Mysore Road Bus Station in the Karnataka capital, as of 8 pm on Monday. A total of 1809 buses out of the 3000 planned were operated across the state, officials clarified.

At the same time, 3154 BMTC buses have left various depots with travellers on Monday, statistics issued by the Corporation stated. BMTC, however, had planned to operate only 2000 buses initially.

Bengaluru: Restaurant owners indicate ‘slow business’ as dine-in resumes

As dine-in resumed in restaurants located in Bengaluru and other parts of the state on Monday, hoteliers and restaurant owners noted that the number of visitors was “very low” indicating that such businesses would take more time towards revival from the pandemic-related crises.

A member of the Karnataka Regional Hotels and Restaurants’ Federation said, “Very low footfall indicates that our businesses would take more time to improve even as the government addressed our long-standing demand to allow dine-in following Covid norms.”

The hotel owner added, “Most customers we speak to are of the opinion that they still think twice before coming to dine-in. Several steps including deploying only vaccinated staff for duties and other offers are planned to build confidence among customers to come to our facilities.”

Customers at a restaurant in Bengaluru (PTI)

Meanwhile, Ranveer Sabhani, Business Head (South), Impresario Handmade Restaurants which operated several restaurants and pubs in the city said, “We have arranged socially-distant tables with acrylic partitions, use of digital menus and payment gateways and following all Covid norms and SOPs for safety and hygiene. While it is too soon to gauge a response, given current restrictions on time and occupancy, business is bound to be slow. A majority of our revenue comes from early evening/dinner hours so that will continue to take a hit,” he said.

Sabhani added that he was not anticipating a considerable number of people stepping out during the day on weekdays, and weekends will continue to remain closed. “We expect revenue to rise only when we are allowed to serve liquor again,” he highlighted.

Karnataka: KSRTC inter-state services to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana from June 22

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to resume inter-state bus services to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from June 22 based on traffic density and need with 50% seating capacity.

“Services to Andhra Pradesh State will be operated from 6.00 AM so as to reach within 6.00 PM. It is mandatory for all passengers to wear a face mask. Passengers are requested to compulsorily follow Covid-19 guidelines while travelling in the Corporation buses,” KSRTC confirmed in a statement issued on Monday.

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