Bengaluru: Karnataka may be easing its lockdown but villages in the southern district of Chamarajanagar have decided to isolate themselves from the rest of the world amid a Covid-19 spurt in the area. Imposed by village elders, the restrictions are backed by a Rs 5,000 fine for violations.
As part of the self-imposed lockdown, barricades made of wooden poles and shrubs have been placed on roads leading to the villages to stop outsiders from coming in. And residents of the villages have been barred from venturing out for work.
The villages following the lockdown include Y.K. Mole, Amachavadi, Basavapura, and Sidayyanapura.
Siddaraju, a resident of Y.K. Mole, told ThePrint that it was a decision taken by community elders “based on reports of community spread across the state”. Community spread is the stage of transmission when the source of infection can no longer be singled out.
Out of the 30 districts in Karnataka, Chamarajanagar was the only one classified as a green zone in the first three months of the pandemic from March to May. It reported its first case on 9 June, and by 3 July had recorded 78 positive cases.
‘No large groups’
Many of the villagers in the district work as agricultural labourers, but a large number travel to cities like Bengaluru to find jobs as taxi drivers or daily-wagers. The village and community elders have advised them not to travel to cities despite the easing of restrictions under Unlock.
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“Several villagers have come back home from the city during the lockdown. We have advised those who have returned to work in the fields. We try to ensure they follow the rules. They should not leave the village as there is huge surge in cases,” said Siddaraju.
Narasimhaswamy, a village elder from Chandakavadi, said “let them work in their fields for now”.
“We have instructed that our people should not take up jobs involving unloading of vegetables in neighbouring villages,” he added
These villages have also imposed curbs on people moving in large groups, and asked residents to avoid crowding in marketplaces and maintain social distancing at all times.
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