The Karnataka government has decided to enforce a full lockdown in the Bengaluru urban and rural districts from July 14 evening to July 22 in the wake of mounting Covid-19 cases over the last week.
“As a measure to control the growing number of Covid-19 cases and based on the advice of experts, a lockdown will be imposed in the Bengaluru urban and rural districts for seven days from 8 pm on July 14 to 5 pm on July 22,” Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Saturday.
“Only essential services will operate during this period. A detailed order will be issued on Monday. Medical examinations scheduled for the period will be held as per schedule. There is no need for panic during the lockdown period,” Yediyurappa, who has been in home isolation since July 10, said on social media.
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The CM’s statement came after a panel of experts and ministers recommended a lockdown to enable the crumbling healthcare infrastructure to cope with surging cases.
“The eight ministers in charge of Bangalore have said it would be appropriate to impose a lockdown. Some experts have also recommended a lockdown… Ultimately, the chief minister will discuss with everyone including the experts and take a final decision…” medical education and Covid incharge minister Dr K Sudhakar said before the announcement.
Since the lifting of the lockdown in Karnataka on June 8, cases surged at a rapid pace in Bengaluru and its surrounding areas, pushing healthcare infrastructure to its brink.
Over 8,000 cases have been recorded in the last week, with the doubling rate at seven days (compared to nine for the state) and the positivity rate at 23.7 per cent (compared to 12.1 per cent for the state) in the last week. The city has seen 18.4 deaths per million population compared to 7.9 for the state.
On Saturday, 1,533 cases were recorded in the Bengaluru Urban region with 23 deaths. Of 819 beds for Covid-19 in government medical colleges in Bengaluru, 805 were occupied.
As many as 499 beds out of 558 beds in government hospitals,1,245 of 1,962 beds in private medical colleges and 236 of 283 beds in private hospitals were in use. “We need more breathing time for the healthcare sector since workers and infrastructure are at breaking point,” a senior government official said.