Karnataka govt to strengthen measures in implementing lockdown


PTI, Mar 27, 2020, 6:22 PM IST

Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed concern over the movement of people in Karnataka despite the 21-day lockdown, following which the BJP government in the state decided to strengthen measures to check the spread of coronavirus.

The state cabinet which met on Friday has asked district in-charge Ministers to take responsibility of their respective districts with regards to measures that need to be taken to control the spread of COVID-19.

“Morning at 9:30 Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to me and said despite lockdown in Karnataka aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19, people are still coming out and commuting and instructed that proper bandobast has to be made. We have discussed regarding this,” Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting here, he said measures that need to be taken to control the spread of COVID-19 were also discussed and district in-charge Ministers have been asked to take complete responsibility of their respective districts and take measures to control the spread of the virus, also the implementation of the lockdown.

Practising the mantra of social distancing, Yediyurappa and his ministerial colleagues sat in chairs kept at a distance from each other during the cabinet meeting.

The meeting was shifted to the spacious conference hall on the third floor of Vidhana Soudha, the complex housing the state secretariat and legislature here, instead of the usual cabinet hall on the same floor.

Assuring that there will be no shortage in essential supplies like food items, the Chief Minister warned of strict action against the selling of commodities at a high price, by misusing the situation.

“We have taken all measures for ensuring the smooth movement of food materials from farmer’s fields to godowns and from godowns to retails shops,” he said.

Noting that coronavirus infection can be cured, Yediyurappa said many people not aware of it, soon after they test positive, they panic out of fear that it will endanger their life.

“There is also a feeling among certain sections that media was also projecting in that way (causing fear), so I appeal to the media – coronavirus can be cured and all arrangements are being done for it. Steps are being taken so that there is no shortage of medicines, there was no need for anyone to worry,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said food packets will be provided to poor and needy with the help of some organisation through Indira Canteen, and sought the help of everyone in this regard.

Revenue Minister R Ashoka and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and others have held discussions with Muslim community leaders, where it was decided that Namaz and prayers will be offered at houses and not Masjids in order to maintain social distancing, Yediyurappa said.

“The Muslim community and its leaders are cooperating, I thank them and assure them of our full support,” he added.

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