Decision on further relaxing COVID restrictions in Karnataka on Saturday: CM Yediyurappa

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Decision on further relaxing COVID restrictions in Karnataka on Saturday: CM Yediyurappa

A decision on further relaxing lockdown restrictions in the state after June 21 when the current curbs come to an end, will be taken on Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said.

“The situation is improving. There is also a possibility of a third wave in the future, but despite that we will have to give some relaxations. We will discuss it at a meeting tomorrow evening, and take a decision,” Yediyurappa told reporters on Friday.

According to official sources, the government may announce relaxations in 11 districts where lockdown measures have continued, while further relaxations in terms of movement of people and opening of businesses may be announced in the remaining 19 districts from June 21.

The government had last week issued fresh guidelines extending the COVID induced lockdown in 11 districts, which have a high positivity rate, till June 21, where citizens were allowed to buy essentials between 6 am and 10 am.

Some relaxations were announced in the remaining 19 districts from June 14, allowing essential shops to be open from 6 am to 2 pm, and movement of people till 7 pm.

It had also imposed COVID curfew (daily) from 7 pm to 5 am and weekend curfew from 7 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday. The 11 districts where strict lockdown measures have continued are Chikmagalur, Shivamogga, Davangere, Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi and Kodagu.

The Karnataka government had initially announced 14 days ‘close-down’ from April 27, but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, as the COVID cases continued to spike.

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Citing lockdown yielding results and experts’ advice, it was further extended till June 7 and then again till June 14. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister along with a few Ministers today held discussions with officials on precautionary measures to be taken in case of flood situation, due to monsoon rains in the state.

Yediyurappa said Maharashtra’s irrigation minister will be visiting the state on Saturday and will hold discussions with him.

Release of excess water from dams in Maharashtra during heavy rains there usually causes flood-like situation in the bordering districts of the state.

Yediyurappa said he will also hold a meeting via video conference on Saturday with Deputy Commissioners of 20 districts regarding monsoon preparedness and preventive measures to be taken in case of floods there.

Noting that the state is receiving good rains and farmers are involved in sowing activities, he said measures have been taken to ensure availability of seeds and fertilisers without any shortage.

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