Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SP)
Bengaluru, May 17: By the way things are moving, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the government will extend the lockdown-like curfew at least till the end of May. At the same time, the government is expected to come out with a package for the affected poor families.
The current curfew will be on till May 24 as per the current orders. Already some discussions have taken place at the government level on the issue of its extension by a week. Many of the members of the state cabinet are in favour of such a measure. There is also a demand to enforce total lockdown in districts like Bengaluru urban where the infection remains high.
As in the past, the government is worried about the prospects of losing the revenue on account of suspension of commercial operations. It is also true that saving the lives gets precedence. Therefore, there have been suggestions to extend the curfew by three weeks. Experts and technical committee members are totally in favour of complete lockdown while the government is thinking of continuing with curfew.
Chief Minister, B S Yediyurappa, will be holding video interaction with the deputy commissioners, zilla panchayat chief executive officers, and district health officers On Monday May 17. Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be holding video interaction with the deputy commissioners of 17 districts of Karnataka including Dakshina Kannada and Udupi which have high rates of infection, on Tuesday May 18. After this programme, the state ministers will meet and discuss the desirability of extending the curfew and also the need to impose total lockdown.
In the meanwhile, under pressure from its own legislators and the opposition ones, the government is expected to announce a package to support poor families which have lost their earnings because of lockdown and their families are in dire straits.
'Lockdown extension - decision today after meeting CM' - Dr Sudhakar
State health minister Dr K Sudhakar said that chief minister, B S Yediyurappa, has convened a meeting on Monday May 17 evening where all the concerned will hold detailed discussions and take a decision on the extension of the lockdown.
Speaking to media persons here on Monday, he said that the corona second wave has been spreading fast in rural areas. He revealed that the discussions will cover the way the infected persons from villages should be quarantined, what type of treatment they should be subjected to, and how to spread awareness among the villagers.
Challenges, priorities before government
The first challenge the government encounters is vaccinating all the people in the state at the earliest. The next challenge is bringing the corona second wave under control in rural belts. "The infection is spreading more because of the fact that the infected persons get isolated at their homes. They do not follow isolation rules properly, they get isolated in houses without proper facilities because of which we have information that the infection is spreading. Therefore, the government has ordered that the infected persons should be kept in primary treatment zones in revenue division level and Covid care centres at the taluk levels. He asked the deputy commissioners to properly bring this order into practice.
Sudhakar said that the corona variant witnessed in the second wave is new to the country and it is not present in other countries. He said that the scientists are studying the same and that the government did not have the inkling that such a virus will make an appearance here.
He called upon opposition leaders to join hands with the government instead of playing politics. He said they are continuing to do politics and urged them if they are committed, to join hands with the government.
Sudhakar, as well as Ashok and Murugesh Nirani have supported the idea of extending the lockdown. The state government, it is felt, might make final announcement only after tomorrow's meeting of the Prime Ministers with the deputy commissioners from the state.