Bengaluru, April 9 (IANS) The Karnataka Cabinet is in favour of extending the 21-day nationwide lockdown by two weeks to fight the coronavirus scare, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Thursday.
"All the ministers are in favour of continuing the lockdown for two more weeks to contain Covid-19 spread in the state, which has recorded 191 positive cases and 6 deaths till date," Yediyurappa told reporters after an emergent Cabinet meeting here.
Though a panel of eminent doctors on Wednesday recommended continuing the lockdown -- set to end on April 14 -- till April 30 only in hotspots like Bengaluru and Mysuru, the Cabinet did not want to take any chance by lifting the lockdown in districts not affected by the virus.
"The lockdown should continue for two more weeks to ensure that the number of coronavirus cases do not spike as was the case in some states and to prevent community spread," said Yediyurappa.
The panel, headed by eminent doctor Devi Shetty, and C.N. Manjunath, Nagaraj, Ravi and Sudarshan as members, was set up by the state in March to assess the pandemic and advise measures to contain its fallout across the southern state.
"The lockdown should not be lifted in the hotspots or relaxed in the districts with less or zero cases so as to contain the virus and control the situation, especially physical distancing," asserted the Chief Minister.
Of the 30 districts in Karnataka, 18 districts have reported corona cases, including two hotspots.
"A final decision on the lockdown will be taken on Sunday or Monday after our videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday and as per his advice for the welfare of all," added Yediyurappa.
Modi had advised the states to suggest if the nationwide lockdown should be extended beyond April 14 or eased with curbs in areas that were free from the infection so far.
Though the 21-day lockdown was clamped on March 24 midnight across the country, nine districts of Karnataka have been under shutdown since March 14 on the panel's advice to contain the virus fallout.
In a related development, the Cabinet decided to deduct 30 per cent from salaries and allowances of all legislators, amounting to Rs 15.3 crore, for fiscal 2020-21 through an ordinance, as the Assembly is not in session.
Governor Vajubhai Vala and Yediyurappa have already pledged their salaries for this year to the CM relief fund for spending on tackling coronavirus.
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