Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that he would be forced to announce another lockdown if people did not cooperate and take safety precautions against the spread of Covid-19.
“For the last one month, Covid-19 is getting beyond control and numbers are going up. I have called a meeting with experts on Monday. I have just one request that if you (people) do not want a lockdown, if all activities should continue like now, people should cooperate,” Yediyurappa said.
The statements come on a day when Karnataka reported 934 new Covid-19 cases (on Saturday) of which Bengaluru accounts for 628 positive cases and two deaths, taking its total number of active cases to 6107 and death toll to 4519, according to government data.
Bengaluru is among the ten worst-hit districts in the country with 6017 active cases.
CM Yediyurappa has convened a meeting with experts in Bengaluru on Monday where he is expected to discuss measures to contain the growing spread of the coronavirus which continues to remain a potent threat in India’s IT capital and other large cities.
“From now on, we will fix the total number of people at weddings, events and other places,” he said, adding that the government will come down heavily on those who violate these provisions.
Though Karnataka was one of the most impacted states till almost the end of last year, government data showed a significant decline in cases since then. However, the rise in cases has sparked fears of a possible second wave in one of the most populated cities in the country where safety measures like physical distancing, masks and washing hands or sanitizing them are followed by few.
Senior ministers and bureaucrats have warned of a relapse into another lockdown if Covid-19 protocols are violated.
In the last one week, Bengaluru has recorded 3175 new cases of the total 4945 across the state.
The deaths per million (as on March 13) in Bengaluru is 469.4 as against the state average of 177.0, that emphasizes the surge in Karnataka’s capital.
However, politicians are among the biggest violators of these safety procedures as they continue to host large gatherings, organize protests and even invite thousands to marriages within the family.
Bengaluru also has 10,203 people in active quarantine. But poor data collection and lack of random testing and other factors have added to the challenges in fighting the virus, according to the government.
The city administration has mooted proposals to conduct tests at markets, malls and marriage halls among other places where large crowds gather.
According to the Covid-19 state war room data, there were 37,820 tests per million conducted in Bengaluru in the last 10 days as against 10,356 across the state.
The state has also successfully vaccinated (first and second dose) to over 13.40 lakh people, data shows.