Bengaluru: With the sharp surge in Covid infections, the Karnataka cabinet on Monday resolved to vaccinate all those between 18 and 44 years of age free of cost. It also allowed home delivery of liquor for the first time in the state’s history.
After the cabinet meeting here, Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa announced that Karnataka will vaccinate people above the age of 18 years and below 45 years free of cost at government hospitals across the state. The Union government will bear the cost of vaccination of those above 45 years in the state.
“With both governments taking up vaccination drives, there will be free vaccination across the state in government hospitals,” he said.
The CM added that food and beverages take away is allowed this time. “We are allowing home delivery of liquor in the state,” he said.
He also announced that the cabinet decided to write to the State Election Commission to defer all upcoming polls for at least three months from now.
Yediyurappa asserted that the cabinet took these decisions after deliberating with all ministers and experts. “Essential items like milk and groceries will be available for four hours in the day from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. during the lockdown period,” the Chief Minister said.
Bengaluru, a city of 1.2 crore people, reported more than 20,000 new infections on Sunday, its highest single-day tally so far. Among the major Indian cities, Bengaluru’s daily surge is currently second only to that in the national capital Delhi.
The CM added that both inter and intra-state public transportation will not function except goods transportation during the lockdown period.
“The two-week lockdown will commence from Tuesday 9 p.m. onwards and end on May 10,” he said and hinted that the window period for public transport will remain open till Tuesday 9 p.m. for those who want to leave for their hometowns.
Yediyurappa said that these tough measures are required to contain the spread of the virus. “Covid virus is predominantly spreading in Bengaluru and its surrounding areas and it has surpassed even Mumbai, hence, we are forced to implement such harsh measures,” he said.