No relaxation, coronavirus lockdown to continue till May 3: Karnataka Cabinet
Bengaluru: The Karnataka Cabinet on Monday decided that lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 will continue ‘as is’ till May 3 with no relaxation whatsoever.
‘The same situation will continue till May 3,’ Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said, briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting. ‘We’re awaiting fresh guidelines from the Centre and if any relaxation can be given, the chief minister and the task force will discuss in 3-4 days. But in principle, the lockdown will continue till May 3 and there will not be any relaxation for now,’ he said.
The Cabinet decision supersedes Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s announcement on April 18 that some economic activities will be permitted after April 20, especially construction work and industries. ‘As far as agriculture and horticulture sectors are concerned, there is no restriction on procurement, marketing and transportation,’ Madhuswamy said.
‘The question before us was about the manufacturing sector and industries. Can we give relaxation in rural areas, urban areas or where there aren’t any cases? Since everything is linked – raw materials, transport, food etc – the entire state can’t be treated as one unit. So, be it MSMEs or manufacturing, we have decided not to allow anything for now, given the prevailing situation,’ he explained.
The Cabinet resolved to mount pressure on the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry on the need for Karnataka’s spices and coffee to be exported. ‘All markets have closed, so it was decided to raise this with the commerce department,’ Madhuswamy said.