As cases rise, several states impose localised lockdowns
The Karnataka government announced a complete week-long lockdown in Bengaluru from Tuesday, while Uttar Pradesh enforced curbs for the weekend to check the spread of the infectious disease.
Bengaluru/Guwahati/Lucknow Karnataka, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya on Saturday imposed or extended lockdowns for varying periods in areas reporting alarming surges in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), moves that were aimed at containing clusters and preventing the emergence of fresh hot spots in high-risk areas.
The Karnataka government announced a complete week-long lockdown in Bengaluru from Tuesday, while Uttar Pradesh enforced curbs for the weekend to check the spread of the infectious disease. In the North-east, the Assam government extended the Covid-19 lockdown in Guwahati by another week.
Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the 14-day lockdown in the district was scheduled to end at 6pm on Sunday but the district magistrate reported that rising cases may be a major threat to public health, hygiene and safety of the general population.
“Due to extensive testing, isolation and other restrictive measures, community spread of Covid-19 has been contained to some extent and this necessitates further extension of prohibitory measures to contain the spread of the pandemic,” he stated.
Guwahati city has reported a surge of positive cases with 6,221 since June 24 following which a complete lockdown was imposed in the entire district on June 28.
While the Meghalaya government announced a two-day total lockdown in capital Shillong from Monday, the restrictions in Arunachal Pradesh’s capital complex were extended for another week in view of the rising cases. The previous lockdown which was imposed in the capital complex comprising Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa on July 6 was scheduled to end at 5 pm on July 13.
State governments have been enforcing localised lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 cases even as the Centre issued guidelines around a fortnight back for the second of a three-phase plan to lift restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the disease in March. The Covid-19 cases in the country climbed past the 800,000 mark on Friday.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday announced the week-long hard lockdown in Bengaluru’s urban and rural districts from 8pm on July 14 to 5am on July 22. He said everything would be shut except essential services such as hospitals, pharmacies, milk shops and vegetable and grocery stores. Bengaluru has reported a sharp spike in cases in the recent days, fuelling the outbreak in the southern state.
The Karnataka government also released guidelines allowing Resident Welfare Associations, Apartment Owners Associations, as well as companies, to establish Covid-19 care centres.
As of July 11 evening, cumulatively 36,216 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 613 deaths and 14,716 discharges, a government bulletin said. Bengaluru urban district tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 16,862 infections.
In Uttar Pradesh, roads, markets, commercial establishments and offices were empty across the state as it implemented a lockdown from 10pm on Friday for the weekend. The lockdown will end at 5am on Monday. Expect essential services, everything else will be barred during this period.
Municipal bodies across the state also launched a three-day cleanliness drive. A sanitisation drive was carried out in Lucknow’s containment zones and nearby areas. “We have deputed over 600 staff with backpack kits for the sanitisation purpose...,” said Lucknow municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi.
In Bihar, 17 out of 38 districts have enforced three- to seven-day lockdowns. The state has reported half of its total cases this month. A lockdown was imposed in Bihar’s capital Patna from Friday.
A weekend lockdown began in Odisha in 23 of the 30 districts. The weekend lockdown was imposed in the state’s 11 districts in June. Odisha has reported 57% of its total Covid-19-related deaths this month.
The ongoing 14-day lockdown was also extended in Guwahati and rest of Kamrup Metro district by another week beginning Sunday evening. The region has been under total lockdown since June 28.
Officials said the lockdown has helped “contain community” spread to some extent and the numbers are showing “encouraging downward trend”, which necessitates further extension of the lockdown.
Meghalaya also announced a two-day lockdown in capital Shillong from July 13. Nagaland has also decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till July 31. The ongoing lockdown in the state was supposed to end on July 16.
With inputs from PTI