Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday, 21 July, urged the people of the state to follow COVID-19 guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, as he announced that the lockdown for Bengaluru won’t be extended.
“I want to make it clear, no lockdown in Bengaluru from tomorrow. People (can) continue with their work as per usual. Henceforth, in Bengaluru and any part of Karnataka, there will be no lockdown except in containment zones,” the CM said in a video address which was broadcasted live.
“There were a few officials who were in favour of continuing lockdown in some districts and I made it very clear to them that henceforth, there should (not) be talk of another lockdown. Ensure everybody wears masks and resume their normal activities.”
The ‘5Ts’ Strategy
“I fold my hands and tell the people of this state that lockdown is not the solution. The solution is wearing masks, maintaining distance, and how strictly this is followed, it will help stop the spread of COVID-19. In this situation, if we want to live, we have to maintain distance and wear masks. Everyone must do this while walking, going to parks and all other situations,” the CM added
He acknowledged the suggestion given by experts and said the ‘5Ts’ strategy – trace, track, test, treat, technology – will help stop the spread of the virus. He said for every COVID-19 positive patient, 47 contacts were traced in the state.
On the issue of rising complaints of patients being denied treatment, the CM claimed the process to admit COVID-19 patients and people with other illnesses in hospitals has been smoothened in the state.
He also said, “Among infected persons, five percent need ventilators or ICU. In Bengaluru, 11,230 beds were allocated for COVID-19 patients... To admit patients, a real-time dashboard was readied. There is no need for the public to worry and the government is doing all it can. All private hospitals have agreed to give beds and join hands with the government.”
He added,“There were a couple of cases of suicides. I am telling you that most people are recovering and I pray to people to not think of turning to suicide.”
The one week lockdown, which is due to be lifted on Wednesday at 5 am, was announced by the CM on 11 July. As per the order, Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts went into a total lockdown from 8 pm on 14 July to 5 am on July 22. Only stores selling essentials were allowed to remain open between 5 am and 12 pm.
The announcement had come in the wake of successive days of Bengaluru city reporting 1,000-plus cases. During the lockdown, the city saw three consecutive days of 2,000-plus cases.
Till Monday evening, Bengaluru had reported 25,574 active COVID-19 patients. Presently, there are 6,160 containment zones in Bengaluru, of which 2,014 are in Bengaluru South.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)