- The earlier Karnataka lockdown was to end on May 24
- The Chief Minister underscored the need for Covid-appropriate conduct
- The state today reported 353 Covid deaths
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday extended the statewide lockdown by another two weeks; it will now be in force till June 7 as the state battles the surge in cases in the second Covid wave.
The earlier lockdown, in effect from May 10, was to end on May 24.
The state today reported 32,218 fresh infections and 353 fatalities, taking the total infections and deaths due to Covid to 23,67,742 and 24,207 respectively. It has 5,14,238 active cases.
"We have taken some decisions regarding the lockdown after discussing them with our senior Ministers, Chief Secretary and other officials," the Chief Minister was quoted saying by news agency PTI.
"Heeding to the suggestions of experts, we have decided to extend the stringent restriction from May 24 to June 7," he said.
The Chief Minister, seeking people's cooperation, underscored the need for Covid-appropriate behaviour of wearing facemasks in public places, maintaining hygiene and social distancing.
In this phase of lockdown, there will be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons as permitted by the revised guidelines and there will be unrestricted and smooth movement of all types of goods, including empty goods vehicles.
"There has been a steady decline in the number of active and new cases in the state due to implementation of strict containment measures. However, it has been observed that there is a gradual ingress of Covid cases in semi-urban and rural areas," the state government said in a statement.
Earlier today, neighbouring Kerala also extended the lockdown restrictions till May 30. They were to end on May 23.
Most states have taken the lockdown route to cut the chain of virus transmission.
A particularly aggressive strain - B.1.617.2 - is driving the surge in cases in the country and also infecting younger age groups.