Karnataka govt to start unlocking in 4-5 phases from June 14

Karnataka government is likely to unlock economic activities in a phased manner from June 14 as the Covid-19 positivity rate has been declining in Bengaluru and other districts and is soon anticipated to go below 5%.

Revenue minister R Ashoka, member of the state’s Covid task force, on Wednesday revealed that the state government is looking at four or five phases in selected districts. They have decided not to lift lockdown restrictions at one go, keeping in mind the number of deaths and new cases.

Ashoka added while the state reported new 10,959 cases on Wednesday, 2,395 of the cases were from Bengaluru.

Ashoka said in the first phase, relaxations will be mostly related to the four-hour window to purchase essentials.

The minister said now that the relaxation for shopping groceries, vegetables and other essentials is between 6am and 10am. They might extend it till noon or 3pm in districts which record less than 5% positivity rate by June 14. Morning walkers may also be permitted to go to parks.

The system of work-from-home (WFH) for IT/ BT and some other sectors is most likely to continue.

Export-oriented sectors, medicine and medical equipment manufacturers, including others, have already been given relieved.

Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Vice Chairman Ashoka also added they should keep in mind the rise in positive cases while they unlock, the daily spike has to come below 500 cases.

Health minister K Sudhakar said lifting restrictions at once might provoke the rise in cases so the curbs will be eased in a phased manner. The chief minister will take a final decision on the methods of unlocking.

The state’s technical advisory committee (TAC), consisting experts, is also said to have suggested a steady unlocking of activities. They have also recommended to lift curbs once the positivity rate is less than 5% and daily cases less than 5,000.

Official sources stated that government is considering to allow autos and cabs to function till 8pm and allow private offices to ply with 50% of staff. However, there is, some limitation about operation of public transport and inter-district travel.

Malls, cinema halls, gyms and swimming pools will continue to remain closed and restrictions on marriages, funerals and public gatherings are also likely to continue.

To discuss the unlocking process, Chief minister BS Yediyurappa is most likely to hold a meeting with ministers, officials and experts on June 11 or 12.

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