The Karnataka cabinet on Thursday rejected recommendations on "graded lifting" of the 21-day lockdown given by an expert panel of doctors. Moreover, the cabinet favoured the extension of complete lockdown across all districts in the state till April 30 citing the rising cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.
The experts’ panel, tasked with devising an exit strategy for lockdown, had submitted its report to CM on Wednesday suggested closure of schools and colleges till May 31 and restrictions on mass gatherings while the continuation of lockdown in COVID-19 hotspots and restrictions in the rest of the state.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said, "The cabinet ministers have suggested extension of the full-scale lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19. We will take a final decision after consulting the PM."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold a teleconference with CMs on Saturday to seek their opinion on the continuation of the lockdown.
To raise funds for the COVID-19 crisis in the state, the cabinet decided to cut the salaries of ministers, MLAs, MLCs, speaker, deputy speaker and the CM by 30 percent for one year.
Law and parliamentary affairs minister JC Madhuswamy said, "The pay cut starts from April 1 and the total amount adds up to Rs 15 crore."
Currently, 181 active cases of coronavirus have been reported in Karnataka while 5 people have lost their lives. However, 28 patients have been recovered and discharged from hospitals. Bengaluru Urban is the worst-hit district in the state.