Karnataka has joined a long line of states that have declared curfew on nights and weekends to put brakes on the unchecked progress of coronavirus. The curfew will begin at 9 pm Friday and continue till to 6 am on Monday. The 9-pm to 6 am night curfew will be in place across the state from April 21 to May 4.
Karnataka -- whose Covid numbers have been spiralling with a positivity rate above 12 per cent -- took the hard measure after Chief Minister BS Yedyurappa tested positive for Covid for a second time.
From hospital, the Chief Minister held an all-party virtual meeting on Tuesday to decide on the way forward for the state.
Telangana has already announced night curfew and Uttar Pradesh ordered a weekend lockdown. States that led the country in these have opted for -- or are contemplating -- stronger measures.
Delhi became the first to declare a week-long lockdown yesterday. It was followed by Jharkhand.
Maharashtra has indicated that it might take a similar step soon. Its health minister Rajesh Tope said the state cabinet favours a "strict lockdown" and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to make an announcement in this regard on Wednesday.
In an address to the nation this evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that complete, national lockdown is the last option.
"'We should prevent a lockdown. If you all work together, create awareness then there is no need for containment, never mind a lockdown. I appeal to states that they should use the lockdown as the last resort - our focus should be micro-containment zones. We will take care of economic health as well as the health of countrymen," he said.
Over the last 24 hours, the country logged 2,59,170 new coronavirus infections, taking the number of active cases across the 20-lakh mark. The number of deaths touched 1,80,530 with a record 1,761 new fatalities, showed health ministry data.