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Karnataka in Lockdown Mode, As States Struggle to Shore up Oxygen Supplies

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has announced a 14-day lockdown across the state from April 27 at 9 pm till May 9 after the state cabinet meeting held on Monday.

“COVID curfew will be implemented in the state from tomorrow 9 pm for the next 14 days. People will have to cooperate. If they do, we can achieve our target,” he announced.

Shops for essential commodities and groceries will remain open from 6 am to 10 am every day but no public transport will be available, the CM added. Only construction, manufacturing and agriculture sectors are allowed to continue working during this period. Travel within the state and to other states will also not be allowed, except for emergencies.

On Sunday, the Health department said that Karnataka reported another biggest single day spike of 34,804 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total caseload to 13.39 lakh, while 143 related fatalities pushed the toll to 14,426. The state has a positivity rate of nearly 20 per cent, which means one in five samples are testing positive.

The Chief Minister said that the government hospitals would provide free vaccinations for those between 18 and 44 years; the Centre has announced that those over 45 will be given shots free of cost.

A few members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held a meeting on April 24, had advised the government for a two-week-long down as the Covid cases are increasing in Karnataka and in the same capacity in the city of Bengaluru. Following their recommendation, the government has decided on the two weeks lockdown.

WHO boss says that the situation in India is beyond heartbreaking. A total of 3,52,991 new infections were registered in a day, while the death count increased to 1,95,123 with 2,812 daily new fatalities.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have also assured India and its people of providing all assistance, including urgently sending necessary medical life-saving supplies and equipment, to help the country combat the deadly coronavirus crisis. “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” Joe Biden said in a tweet.

As the cases continue to surge, the government has issued fresh advisory for citizens to stay safe.

The government said that it’s time to start wearing masks inside homes to prevent Covid-19. “It’s time people start wearing masks inside their homes as well,” said Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog’s member (health).

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