Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has convened an all party meet here on Sunday to discuss the situation arising out of the fast spreading coronavirus.
Worried by the surge in the cases, which, in the last three days, have hovered around 25,000 the beleaguered chief minister wants to take a cue from the steps that Maharashtra announced last night in this connection. The neighbouring state has imposed Section 144 for a fortnight, beginning this evening.
Yeddyurappa told newsmen today that possibilities of more stringent regulation to mitigate the virus surge post would be examined during the all-party meet on 18 April.
The event comes immediately a day after voting concludes for the three bye-elections of Belagavi Lok Sabha and the Maski and Basavakalayan assembly polls.
At the same time the chief minister reiterated that while the parties’ meet would discuss all available options to control the spread of the virus, there would be no question of a lockdown. Possibilities of bringing the entire state under night curfew, however, would be one of the options that could be considered. At present only eight districts of the states , including Bengaluru Urban and Mysuru, have been placed under night curfew.
Significantly, barely 48 hours ago, the chief minister had not ruled out the possibility of imposing a lockdown considering the gravity of the situation. Within a matter of 24 hours though, he is talking about everything but a lockdown now, to go by sections of the industry which are actually dreading such prospects.
Especially as these U-turns have scared the industry and business sections alike.
In fact, the conflicting statements from the government are making them nervous , worried as they are by the hard knocks that their business is getting, thanks to the speed with which the virus is spreading.
T’gana issues stern warning:
Urging people to wear masks even at home Telangana health department today issued a stern warning to the public that Covid-19 situation might get worse as the virus was spreading faster this time and if precautions are not taken the state might end up being a second Maharashtra.
In a video message the director of public health Dr G Srinivasa Rao admitted that the state had not imposed lockdown or restrictions since it was bad for the economy but the situation was fast deteriorating and the state may run out of hospital beds.
Trying to emphasise the rapid pace at which the virus was spreading Dr Rao pointed out if a family member gets infected it is certain that the entire family will be infected in the matter of few hours or days. Telangana reported 2157 new cases and 8 deaths.
“The situation has been bad for the past 3-4 weeks and for the next 6 weeks it will be bad. If we don’t take precautions we will be another Maharashatra. People are already finding it difficult to get hospital beds and it will get worse. So please take care. The virus is spreading faster than before,”said the health official.
So far Telangana has not imposed any restrictions on the public other than making it compulsory to wear masks in public spaces and work space and impose a hefty fine of Rs 1000 on violators. It has just recently ramped up its vaccination efforts.