Bengaluru, March 22 : Karnataka on Sunday closed its inter-state border to contain the spread of Coronavirus by preventing movement of people and vehicles from neighbouring states, an official said.
"At an emergency meeting chaired by chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa at his home in the city's northern suburb, the state government has decided to close its borders with the neighbouring states to restrict inter-state movement of people," the official said in a statement here.
Karnataka has a common border with Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
"People living in cities and towns have been advised not to visit their villages in the state or other states," noted the official.
The state government has also decided to postpone the 10th class (SSLC) board exams from March 27 to a later date.
"The 1,700-bed state-run Victoria hospital in the city centre will be converted into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital to admit positive cases and for separate isolation," the statement said.
Tests for diagnosing suspected COVID-19 cases will be conducted in more state-run and private hospitals across the state with the help of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune in Maharashtra.
"Domestic passengers will also be screened at all the 7 airports across the state, including Bengaluru, Belagavi, Bidar, Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Mangaluru and Mysuru in addition to international passengers at Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports," the statement said.
The state government has decided to distribute foodgrains for next two months in advance to all ration card-holders across the state.
All elections, including the March 26 Rajya Sabha bypolls in the city have been postponed until further notice.
State Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayana, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Industries Minister Jagaidsh Shettar, Health Minister B. Sriramulu, Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar and eminent cardiologist Devi Shetty participated in the meeting of the taskforce set up to fight the virus menace.
"A 24x7 war room will be set up at the state-run Balabrooie guest house in the city centre to coordinate the government's measures in tackling the medical crisis brewing from the fatal communicable disease," the official added.
Karnataka registered 21 cases of COVID-19, with one more patient testing positive at Dharwad in the state's northwest region on Sunday.
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