Karnataka extends lockdown till June 14, announces Rs 500 cr package
With a Covid surge still being reported in rural parts of the state, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Thursday announced the extension of lockdown by a week, with the restrictions to be in force till 6 a.m. on June 14.
He also announced a second relief package totalling Rs 500 crore for different groups including film and TV industry workers, fishing community, ASHA and anganwadi workers, weavers, and people working in places of worship.
This relief package is in addition to the Rs 1,111.82 crore financial package as relief for those whose livelihood has been affected by the lockdown, announced just a fortnight ago.
Karnataka's Covid technical advisory committee had maintained in its report that ongoing lockdown restriction can only be eased once the positivity rate falls below five per cent and the number of cases should be reported below 5,000 a day across the state.
After an informal meeting with ministers here, Yediyurappa told reporters that the ongoing lockdown must be extended for another week because in the villages, the Covid situation is the worst.
Noting that the state had earlier announced stringent restrictions from May 24 to June 7 to contain the spread of Covid, he said: "Though the infection has come under control, the spread of the disease is still on. Therefore, we have decided to extend the restrictions by a week, following the recommendation of experts, till June 14 morning."
The Chief Minister maintained that the restrictions can only be eased only after the positivity rate comes down below 5 per cent.
Announcing the new cash relief to different groups, he said that for instance, weavers working in the state's 59,000 power looms will receive Rs 3,000 relief, adding up to Rs 35 crore. Some 22,000 registered unorganised workers of the film and television industry, too, will get the same amount, amounting to Rs 6.6 crore, he said.
Similarly, Rs 12.75 crore will be spent as relief on Karnataka's 42,574 Asha workers at Rs 3,000 per head.
Karnataka initially announced a 14-day corona curfew from April 27, but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to 24 as Covid cases continued to rise. It was extended again till June 7. - IANS