Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) A total lockdown on Sunday turned Karnataka into a ghost state, with an eerie silence and uneasy calm prevailing across its cities and towns, even as hundreds of policemen kept a close vigil.
“A total lockdown is in force across the state since Saturday evening (7pm) to Monday morning (7am). A ban under Section 144 of the CrPC has also been imposed to prevent movement of people and vehicles,” a police official told IANS here.
As decided by the state government to contain the coronavirus spread, the Sunday lockdown comes after a partial relaxation of restrictions on weekdays since May 19 to revive economic activity and restore near-normalcy.
“We have seized about 100 vehicles across the city (Bengaluru) since morning when some people, mostly youths, ventured out on two-wheelers to roam around in residential areas in violation of the lockdown norm,” the official said.
The police also sealed inter-state borders to prevent movement of people and vehicles from neighbouring states, as bus services and transportation of goods remain suspended till Monday morning.
“Only ambulances and vehicles on essential duty are allowed to ply during the curfew period. Shops selling medicines, groceries, vegetables, fruits and poultry and meat products have been allowed to open but ensure customers maintain physical distancing and stand in queues.
“Barring retail outlets for essential supplies like milk, vegetables, fruits, and medicines, everything has been shut down since 7pm on Saturday to 7am on Monday,” the official added.
State-run buses, taxis and autos have also not been allowed to operate across the state.
Though the central government further extended the lockdown to May 31 from May 18 with greater relaxation in the norms to restore near-normalcy across the country, the state has decided to enforce it (lockdown) only on Sundays till month-end, that is on May 24 and May 31.
All main roads, flyovers and enter/exit points on the city outskirts have been barricaded to prevent vehicular movement.
In an appeal to all citizens across the state on Saturday, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa urged the people to abide by the lockdown on this (May 24) and next Sunday (May 31) to contain the Covid-19 spread.
“We have reached a crucial stage in the war against Covid-19. Follow guidelines in the interest and welfare of all to fight the pandemic. Stay at home to be safe,” said Yediyurappa.
The state government, however, allowed weddings prefixed on Sunday amid the lockdown with a slew of riders to ensure health and social distancing.