Bengaluru, Feb 20 (IANS): Allaying fears of another round of lockdown in Bengaluru, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar said on Saturday that there is no proposal lying before the state government to re-enforce the lockdown in any part of the southern state.
Reacting to reports about re-enforcing lockdown in Bengaluru, the minister told reporters that Covid-19 cases have not increased in Karnataka and unlike Kerala or Maharashtra, the situation does not demand another lockdown as of now.
"Be it partial or complete lockdown, there is no such intention, nor are there any proposals lying before the state government," he said.
Sudhakar's remarks came close on the heels of Bengaluru civic body Commissioner N. Manjunatha Prasad's statement on Friday which said if the citizens continue to grossly flout Covid-19 restrictions, lockdown may have to be re-enforced.
On Friday, Prasad, while addressing health officials in Bengaluru in the wake of the formation of two clusters and the emergence of South African and Brazilian strains of Covid-19 virus in neighbouring states, had warned that the government will be forced to re-enforce lockdown if the current scale of violation of social distancing norms in Bengaluru continues.
"As of now, the Covid-19 situation has not gone out of control and so far no new strain of Covid virus has been found except the UK strain. Even this new type of strain has not been found in alarming numbers. Therefore, the state government has not thought in that direction (imposing lockdown) yet," Sudhakar said.
The minister, however, maintained that the state government is making all out efforts to prevent the Covid situation from going out of control, while it is equally important for the people to cooperate fully in this battle against the invisible enemy.
"People should not throw caution to the wind. They need to wear masks and maintain social distance in order to beat this virus," he said.
Sudhakar also maintained that the state has ramped up its vigil, especially in the border districts and in Bengaluru to prevent a Kerala or Maharashtra-like situation.
He also stressed that the state has gained substantial experience in controlling the spread of the virus, which it proved successfully by preventing any further spread of the UK strain that was initially found in some passengers who arrived here from the UK.
He asserted that the British strain has only been found in those passengers and some of their primary contacts. "We did not allow it to spread in the society due to the strict measures which were enforced on these travellers. So it is unlikely that the situation would go out of control anytime soon," he said.
Emphasising on the rise in the number of fresh cases in neighbouring states like Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, Sudhakar said that the state government has already taken steps like making negative RT-PCR test report mandatory for those entering Kerala through the borders of these states.
"On an average, 4,000-5,000 cases are getting reported in Kerala and 5,000-6,000 in Maharashtra on a day-to-day basis. As we share our borders with these states, we issued circulars. Unless we see RT-PCR negative certificates from those coming from these states, we will not allow them to enter Karnataka," the minister said.