As Covid-19 cases rise dramatically across India, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa has warned a lockdown could be imposed in the state if cases continue to rise unabated. Karnataka is among 10 states reporting a high caseload in India, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the health ministry data suggests.
"People need to respond for their own good. If they don't heed then we may have to take stringent measures. If required and if the necessity arises, we will impose lockdown," Yediyurappa said, news agency PTI reported.
He said the state government is imposing night curfews in districts where coronavirus cases are seeing a spike. He said he also apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Covid situation in the state. "(I told him) we have imposed a night curfew in the districts where the coronavirus cases are rising," Yediyurappa said.
The Yeddiyurappa government has so far imposed night curfews in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumakuru and Udupi-Manipal from 10 pm to 5 am till April 20.
He insisted that people should wear face masks, use hand sanitisers and maintain social distancing. "People need to respond for their own good. If they don't cooperate then we will initiate stringent measures, which people should not give scope for. I want people to cooperate with us," Yediyurappa said.
Meanwhile, state health minister Dr K Sudhakar told the media that the government was not inclined to a lockdown and wanted people to cooperate. "Neither me nor the Chief Minister is saying that we will do it (lockdown). All we are saying is don't compel us to push to that extreme. Our government is not at all willing to impose lockdown," he said.
Karnataka reported over 10,250 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the active case tally to 69,244. Over 12,889 patients have also died in the state due to the virus. India reported 1,68,912 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, much higher than 1.52 lakh new infections reported on Saturday, the health ministry data suggests. With a rapid rise in cases, India is now the world's second most affected country in terms of coronavirus. The US, with 3.1 crore cases stands on top, followed by India and Brazil.