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Bengaluru| Amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, the BS Yediyurappa government on Monday decided to impose a 14-day lockdown across the state starting Tuesday evening.

While the Karnataka CM did not call the measure a lockdown while announcing the move before the media, strict curbs that have been announced are akin to lockdown restrictions.

During the lockdown which comes into force at 9 pm on Tuesday, only shops selling essential items will be allowed to open from 6 to 10 am. Public transport will remain shut during the lockdown period.

The sectors which have been allowed to operate during the curfew period include construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

“COVID curfew to be implemented in the state from tomorrow 9 pm for the next 14 days. Essential services allowed between 6 and 10 am. After 10 am, shops will close. Only construction, manufacturing and agriculture sectors allowed to operate. Public transport to remain shut,” Yediyurappa told the media.

The CM also announced that his government will vaccinate people above the age of 18 years free of cost at government hospitals across the state.

The decision came shortly after Karnataka Minister MTB Nagaraj was quoted as saying that the coronavirus infections were spreading across the state at a rapid speed.

“There is a huge demand for hospital beds across the state. COVID is spreading at an unimaginable speed. We have given some suggestions to CM at the Cabinet meeting. It’s important to save lives of common people as well as vendors & small businesses,” the minister said.

The lockdown announcement came a day after Karnataka reported its highest single-day spike of 34,804 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday. The southern state now has a total of 13,39,201 cases.

With 143 fresh fatalities, the death toll in the state from COVID-19 has risen to 14,426.

In Bengaluru Urban alone, a total of 20,733 COVID-19 infections were recorded on Sunday.

A total of 10,62,594 patients have recovered from the disease so far in the state. Karnataka as of Sunday has 2,62,162 active cases.