Mangaluru, March 25, 2020: A complete lockdown was enforced in Mangaluru and in Dakshina Kannada districts on Tuesday following government orders to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Barring shops selling essential commodities, all commercial establishments were closed. They would remain open between 6 a.m. and noon as announced by Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B. Rupesh.
With public transport already off the roads, the police restricted the entry of private vehicles into the city by erecting pickets at various points of NH 66 (Mumbai Highway) and NH 75 (Bengaluru highway) even as they discouraged wanderers to go home in the city.
High alert was seen at the Karnataka-Kerala border at Talapady on NH 66 even as the toll plaza wore deserted look. Officers of inspector rank monitored pickets at Talapady.
Police Commissioner P.S. Harsha on Monday cautioned tough action if people were found unnecessarily loitering around in city limits. Meanwhile, the police on Tuesday arrested seven persons in different parts of the city for violating the magisterial orders and directions from police officers under the Karnataka Police Act as well as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to remain indoors.
Dr. Harsha has again cautioned the public not to loiter around and strictly remain indoors except for buying essentials in the morning. This was essential to maintain social distancing and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While the administration has been preventing the entry of outsiders into the district unless for an emergency, check-posts lacked screening equipment and personnel to check whether those being allowed had symptoms of COVID-19.
While a few police personnel wore masks, a few others did not have the same when The Hindu visited Talapady picket on Tuesday morning. Talapady is the gateway from Kerala where over 95 COVID-19 positive cases were reported. With Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa reportedly announcing permission for people to go out of Bengaluru to celebrate Ugadi, concerns were high as the check-points lack screening equipment.
Superintendent of Police B.M. Laxmi Prasad said the matter was brought to the district administration’s notice.