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Karnataka Dy CM predicts a lakh virus cases in state in coming months

As the number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka jumped to 41 pushing the state to the third position in the number of cases in India, deputy chief minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan painted a grim picture of what could be in store for the state.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 10.55 AM IST
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As the number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka jumped to 41 pushing the state to the third position in the number of cases in India, deputy chief minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan painted a grim picture of what could be in store for the state. He predicted that Karnataka could have about one lakh positive persons in the next few months. The state added eight cases on Tuesday, its highest in a single day.

The deputy chief minister told the Legislative Council that the government is gearing up on a war footing to handle the situation. “We are talking to hotel owners to reserve 20,000 rooms to quarantine the virus-infected patients. The government has also ordered 1,000 ventilators, five lakh N-95 masks and 10 lakh normal masks,” he said.

His statement came a day after Narayana Health founder Dr Devi Shetty warned that the state could record about 80,000 cases of Covid-19 since a large number of people violated the social-distancing norms and ventured out a day after the Janata Curfew. Chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced that the government will not allow vehicles to leave Bengaluru on Wednesday. The police allowed only vehicles to return to their villages on Tuesday, he clarified.

Amid rising concerns and enforcing stringent lockdown across the state, the chief minister on Tuesday announced a few welfare measures to support the marginalised and economically weaker sections of society who are likely to be worst hit in case of an outbreak of Covid-19. Besides, iterating his previous promise of supplying two months of ration to BPL card holders in advance, the CM also said the government will release social security pensions and payment to MGNREGA workers for the next two months in one go. He also announced monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 to every construction worker in Karnataka. There are about 21 lakh construction workers in the state. Yediyurappa has assured a loan waiver for those who have started small businesses under government schemes like Badavara Bandhu.

In contrast to the earlier announcement of keeping Indira Canteens open to serve food to those in need, the government decided to discontinue the service. Most of them remained shut on Tuesday. The CM said the decision was taken as there was a possibility of people gathering in large numbers at these canteens creating an environment for disease transmission.
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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