Full lockdown will be enforced every Sunday in Karnataka from July 5 , the state government has decided after a meeting called by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to discuss the coronavirus situation, on a day when the state capital Bengaluru reported 596 positive cases - the highest one-day spike in the city. No activity will be allowed on Sundays, except essential services.
Monday onwards, night curfew will start from 8 pm from the earlier 9 pm, but the end time of 5 am will remain, officials said.
All government offices will have a five-day week with Saturday as holiday.
The state reported 918 coronavirus cases - also the highest one-day spike in the state - and 11 deaths today. The total cases in the state have climbed to 11,923; so far 7,287 have recovered and 191 have died.
The commissioner of the civic agency BBMP will work to set up more wholesale vegetable markets to avoid crowding at grocery stores across the city.
The state government asked officers to have a centralised bed allocation system to speed up hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients.
The number of ambulances to carry patients will be raised to 250; separate ambulances will be arranged to carry bodies of COVID victims.
The joint commissioners of eight regions will be given additional responsibilities, and Karnataka Administrative Service or KAS officers will help them to take off burden from the commissioner and the central office of the BBMP.
The Chief Minister asked the authorities to reserve wedding halls, hostels and other institutions in Bengaluru to be converted into COVID-19 care centres and to use railway coaches with beds as additional facilities.
The centre has deployed 15 teams, consisting of public health experts, epidemiologists and other specialists, to support states in the battle to contain a seemingly relentless wave of COVID-19 infections, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was informed during the 17th Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting held Saturday afternoon.
Maharashtra (1.53 lakh cases, 7,106 deaths), Delhi (77,240, 2,492) and Tamil Nadu (74,622, 957) are the three worst-affected regions, contributing to 63.7 per cent of the active caseload.
Gujarat has reported over 30,000 cases and UP more than 20,000. Telangana has 12,349 cases, Andhra Pradesh 11,489 and Bengal 16,190.
India has recorded over five lakh confirmed cases since the outbreak began in China in December last year. Of these, 1.98 lakh are active cases and 15,685 are deaths linked to the infectious virus.