BENGALURU: The state government is expected to unlock economic activities in a phased manner from June 14 as the Covid-19 positivity rate has been falling in Bengaluru and some other districts and is soon expected to go below 5%.
Revenue minister R Ashoka, who is a member of the state’s Covid task force, indicated on Wednesday that the state is looking at four or five phases in select districts. “Keeping the number of deaths and new cases in mind, we have decided not to lift lockdown restrictions at one go,” Ashoka said as the state recorded 10,959 positive cases on Wednesday, and 2,395 of the cases were in Bengaluru.
In the first phase, Ashoka said, relaxations will be largely related to the four-hour window to buy essentials.
“Now, the relaxation for shopping groceries, vegetables and other essentials is between 6am and 10am. We may extend it till noon or 3pm in districts which report less than 5% positivity rate by June 14,” he said. Morning walkers may also be allowed to go to parks, the minister added.
The work-from-home (WFH) system in place for IT/ BT and some other sectors is likely to continue.
Will ease curbs in a staggered manner, CM to take a call: Min
Export-oriented sectors and medicine and medical equipment manufacturers, among others, have already been given exemption.
“We will have to keep in mind the rise in positive cases as we unlock… it (daily spike) has to come below 500 cases,” said Ashoka, who is also vicechairman of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority.
“Lifting restrictions at once may trigger a surge in cases so the curbs will be eased in a staggered manner,” health minister K Sudhakar said. “The chief minister will take a final decision on the modalities of unlocking,” he added.
The state’s technical advisory committee (TAC), comprising experts, is also said to have recommended a gradual unlocking of activities. If positivity rate is less than 5% and daily cases less than 5,000, curbs can be lifted, it is learned to have suggested.
Official sources said the government is looking at allowing autos and cabs to ply till 8pm and permitting private offices to function with 50% of staff. There is, however, some reservation about public transport to operate and inter-district travel, they said.
Malls, cinema halls, gyms and swimming pools will continue to remain shut and existing restrictions on marriages, funerals and public gatherings are likely to continue.
Chief minister BS Yediyurappa is likely to convene a meeting of ministers, officials and experts on June11or 12 to discuss the unlocking process.