A bust of the late Kannada actor Dr Vishnuvardhan seen with a mask during the Covid-19 lockdown, in Bengaluru Wednesday
A bust of the late Kannada actor Dr Vishnuvardhan seen with a mask during the Covid-19 lockdown, in Bengaluru Wednesday | PTI
Text Size:

Bengaluru: A high-powered expert committee appointed by the Karnataka government to chalk out an exit plan for the 21-day lockdown has said there is “no medical reason” to continue it beyond 14 April, when it’s scheduled to end. 

Headed by Dr Devi Shetty, the founder of Bengaluru-based Narayana Hrudayalaya, a chain of hospitals, the panel has recommended lifting the lockdown in phases while continuing prohibitory orders in “hotspots” (areas with multiple cases) with strict policing.

“The government should plan a phased exit at 2-weekly intervals. Covid-19 is a three-month-old disease and there is no precedence (sic) of standards to follow,” the report, accessed by ThePrint, states.

“No one can predict the ground realities at the end of two weeks, so let’s design the action plan for 2 weeks from 15 April to 30 April, 2020,” it adds. 

The five-member panel submitted its report to the Karnataka government Wednesday evening. An official in the Karnataka Chief Minister’s Office said the panel’s suggestions were being taken into consideration by the B.S. Yediyurappa cabinet and a decision will be arrived at by Thursday. 

However, state Health Minister B. Sriramulu has thrown his weight behind the idea of an extended lockdown, telling ThePrint that the Covid-19 situation in the state is still not under control. 


Also Read: Modi must not extend lockdown. Economy won’t survive on ventilator for long


What the panel has recommended

According to the panel, lifting the lockdown in a phase-wise manner will instil confidence among people, prevent public frustration and secure livelihoods.

It has asked information technology and business technology firms and other commercial establishments to encourage work from home, while allowing 50 per cent of the workforce to return to offices. 

“Encourage industries in the organised sector to reopen and function at 50 per cent while every employee gets paid fully. Construction industry should also be encouraged to resume…” the report states. 

The panel has noted how the lockdown left thousands of migrant workers stranded in the state with no income or food, adding, “Declaring lockdown of a specific industry for a long period of time will result in layoffs compounding the economic problems.” 

Other recommendations include: 

  1. Curbs on unnecessary movement should continue until 30 April, as should the bar on transport by air, railways, and air-conditioned buses, as well as metro services. 
  2. Strict social distancing must be enforced until 31 May, while Section 144 should continue in certain areas under police vigil.
  3. Gyms, bars, hotels, shopping malls, movie theatres, etc should remain closed until April-end. 
  4. Chewing gum should be banned and the spitting of pan in public places curbed.
  5. Shops and other establishments should operate without air-conditioning until further notice. 
  6. Educational institutions should continue tutorials until 31 May. The panel states students should be encouraged to take online classes as it will lay the foundation for educational reforms. 
  7. The state should procure more testing kits, the panel states. It, however, discourages “indiscriminate use of antibody rapid testing”, the cheap, quick tests for Covid-19 diagnosis.
  8. Online training for the use of rapid antibody testing should be held through existing platforms.  

While a decision on the panel report is yet awaited, Sriramulu has said the lockdown must be extended. 

“Coronavirus is not under control yet. The number of cases and those infected has been increasing day by day,” he added. “We should take a cue from Punjab, which has recommended an extended lockdown. It will help in the long run to control the situation.”

By Thursday, Karnataka had registered 181 cases of Covid-19, of which five have died.   


Also Read: Modi tells MPs lockdown only way to curb Covid-19 spread, hints at extension beyond 14 April


 

ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

17 Comments Share Your Views

17 COMMENTS

  1. Central as well as state receive donations. What they do with that?
    Have any idea? Sir use that money for those who struck (rescue them) safely sent them there Homes, look in to labour class people provide some food, some places absolutely this going on, I thank and appreciate there work for each individual’s, but certain areas still they are waiting with hunger. So my humble request to central government approach to those people, and that’s your priority.
    Keeping silence is not a solution, and addressing to people with words won’t feel there needs..
    Take necessary measurements chronic illness patients, it doesn’t affect lockdown or delayed treatment, They suffering from illness.
    Our Moto should be Safety of all our Nation people..
    Stay home stay safe… Than only our Nation Safe…

  2. Lockdown should continue in a state with increased medical test like door to door check up by municipal authority with the help of police and NGO
    Second petrol should banned for common people
    Third banks should work on alternative days with 50 percent staff specially rural and urban branches

  3. Well, what about middle class and low class people ? Should they die because of hunger ?

    Well let them extend lockdown but are you feeding poor and needy ? The daily wage guys ?

  4. Most of the people are stuck in other places atleast they should be allowed to move back to their place with their own transportation.. you can close public transport but atleast through personal transportation we should be allowed to move back.. atleast two days relaxation is a must

  5. New Cases are still coming up,if the lockdown is lifted,there ll be a surge,why the govt wants to play with the lives of people, Can’t they see the situation in US and other such countries who didn’t put the lockdown properly.

  6. lock down should be FURTHER
    EXTENDED NEW CASES HAVE NOT STOPPED AND ARE COMING ON DAILY BASIS..
    BUT IMMEDIATE ACTION TO
    WIN THE BATTLE AND TO CONTAIN COVID19 SPREAD
    MUST BE TAKEN ALL SUFFERING COUNTRIES
    UNITE AND PUNISH THECULPRIT COUNTRY

  7. All the states suffering from Covid-19 surrounded by karnataka how these committee telling no medical emergency. Still pandemic is their. And one community went to delhi, still we do not how many cases come out from them. These present in different areas in bangalore, as well as north karnataka.
    This is completely business mafia trick.
    Best example malasiya few days they closed the lockdown. But again they gone to lockdown aft few days
    In Odisha they have around covid 50 cases and they have less density of people although. they announced the lock down till april-30 . But in Bangalore more pOpulated and cool weather. Waiting few days what will happen.

  8. If mask can prevent from getting infected from the COVID-19, then those medicos, doctors, nurses and other staffs wear wearing the mask,
    You are right sir, it should be made compulsory to wear mask, but if I sneeze in a place and then I went to another place, nobody will get to know, that place is contaminated or not,
    We all have to get together and have to find a solution because shut down is causing a huge crisis, and China becoming rich,
    otherside, pakistan is read to attack, and China want to enter in chick and neck of India to occupy North-east.

    Only the way is allow all transport except passanger transports..

    And permit every workers to work on alternative days.
    wear rain coats while going out with the mask cover your body and before entering home wash rain coat with full force hot water, it will not disinfect but water force will remove all the contaminated dust particles outside.

  9. Very good thinking because million of people suffering of illness like cancer tb diabetes heart problems and they r not getting treatment because of lockdown and other main problem is hunger and unemployment

  10. Respected sir , can you please provide us some measures , as I’m stuck in my hostel which doesn’t provide food and cooking is not allowed , buying food everyday from outside is really expensive and I’m staying far from home northeastern states . I respect your decision and I’m not against but can you provide some ways and measure that can help us reach in relative or friends house as i am stranded here .

  11. It could spell disaster if you allow 50% workers . Saving economy is great but in case if its become another mumbai economic losses will be huge then ou ever imagine along with causalities , Think before Act !

  12. WHy they did not recommend to make wearing mask compulsory when people come out of houses. While in many countries it is proven that usage of masks brought it under control

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here