Bengaluru, July 14 : The 9-day lockdown in the Karnataka capital began at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, with police swinging into action to restrict the movement of people and vehicles.
"The lockdown will be strictly enforced in the urban and rural areas of the city till 5 a.m. on July 22, as decided by the state government to reduce the spurt in coronavirus cases," a state Home Department official told IANS here.
Barring essential services and supplies, including groceries, milk, vegetables, fruits and medicines, no other activity will be allowed during the lockdown to ensure people remain at home.
"As the decision to re-impose the lockdown was announced on July 11, the citizens were given 3 days to prepare for staying at home or leaving the city. About 1 lakh people left for their homes in other districts and neighbouring states in buses and private vehicles till late evening," said the official.
Hundreds of vehicles choked the main roads across the city leading to state and national highways as people, including migrant labourers and their families, were in hurry to leave before lockdown began.
"Fear of lockdown being extended after July 22 and its strict enforcement till then forced thousands of outsiders, who are part of the city's 1 million floating population, to leave Bengaluru along with their belongings, as they don't want to return till normalcy is restored," noted the official.
Additional police personnel have been deployed in the urban and rural areas of the district and patrolling intensified to prevent people from coming out of homes, except in emergency and those on duty.
While shops selling essential supplies and daily needs will remain open for only 7 hours from 5 a.m. to 12 noon daily during the lockdown, liquor shops will remain shut till further notice.
Scheduled flights and trains will be allowed to operate, but buses, cars and other vehicles will not be allowed to ply.
Of the 2,496 new cases across the southern state on Tuesday, Bengaluru accounted for 1,267, taking its Covid tally to 20,969, of which 15,599 are active cases.
Of the 87 deaths in the state in the last 24 hours, 56 were from the city, taking its toll to 377 as against 842 across the state.
In contrast, 14 new cases were reported in Bengaluru Rural district, taking its tally to 379, including 346 active.
The state's positive cases shot up to 44,077 on Tuesday, with 25,839 active.