BENGALURU: With a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state and in Bengaluru in particular over the past couple of weeks, the Karnataka government said on Monday that no one will be allowed to enter from Maharashtra and Kerala without a Covid-negative certificate.
While the rule has been in place since February 20, barring the border districts, enforcement has been lax in most parts of the state. CM BS Yediyurappa stepped in to say strict checks must be put in place during travel to ensure compliance. “The negative RT-PCR report shall be verified at the time of boarding. For those travelling by bus, tickets shall be issued on production of a negative report or shall be checked by the bus conductor when those who booked tickets online board the bus. In trains, the TTEs shall check the negative RTPCR test report,” he said, after a meeting with the technical advisory committee on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Calling for “rapid” vaccination of vulnerable sections, mainly senior citizens, the government doubled the daily target from 1.5 lakh to 3 lakh. Gram panchayats will be roped in to trace recipients through voter lists and speed up the process, officials said.
CM: Will take stricter steps if people don’t follow norms
Asked if the government is considering a night curfew or lockdown as implemented in select cities by many states, Yediyurappa said no such decision has been taken. “We will wait and watch for another week. If people don’t take adequate precautionary measures, mainly wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, we may be forced to take stricter measures,’’ he added.
“We will try to understand what the PM is planning and then take a final decision,” he said. PM Modi is scheduled to address chief ministers on March 17 regarding increasing Covid cases in the country.
To deter carelessness, it was decided to bring back the spot fine of Rs 250 on anyone found without a mask in public. Random checks will also be conducted at public places and those violating distancing norms will be fined. “I urge the people of Karnataka that if they want to avoid another lockdown or night curfew, it is in their hands to ensure that they maintain social distance and wear masks at all times in public,” he said.
Yediyurappa said the government has taken stock of the situation in districts like Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Belagavi that have shown a spike in cases. “In these districts, we have made it compulsory to cap the congregation of people at 500 for any marriage, religious or political rallies,” said the CM.