Bengaluru: Roads and streets across Karnataka wore a deserted look on Sunday (July 5) after the state observed complete lockdown due to rise in COVID-19 cases.

Only essential services have been permitted to operate during the 33-hour long period and those found roaming around will be liable for police action.

The Karnataka government decided to clamp a 33-hours-long hard lockdown across Karnataka starting 8pm on Saturday till 5am on Monday to cut the chain of COVID-19 transmissions in the region, which has witnessed a spurt in cases especially in Bengaluru and adjoining areas in the last couple of weeks.

Speaking to reporters, medical education minister K Sudhakar informed that chief minister BS Yediyurappa has instructed officials to identify and seal all containment areas where coronavirus cases are high across the state, especially in the capital city Bengaluru to control the situation.

Ahead of the complete shutdown in Bengaluru on Sunday, Yediyurappa chaired a task force meeting and allocated duties to cabinet ministers involved in the fight against coronavirus. “COVID cases have been increasing in Bengaluru and other districts in the state over the last few days for various reasons. We have to work hard to contain the virus spread,” Sudhakar said.

He added that the chief minister has made his deputy CN Ashwath Narayan in-charge of the COVID Care Centres, revenue minister R Ashoka in-charge of managing all private hospitals and him to manage the COVID war room.

Taking to Twitter, Bengaluru Police commissioner Bhaskar Rao tweeted, "Lockdown starts at 8 pm and concludes at 5 am, Monday in Bangalore city. Respected Citizens, just stay home and don't ask for exceptions as this is being done in everybody's interest, heavens won't fall if you postpone by a day. Please exercise self-discipline and cooperate. Happy Sunday."

The lockdown decision is part of a multi-pronged strategy adopted by the state government to contain the spread of the disease. The state COVID-19 task force has decided to set up booth-level committees across the state including 8,800 committees in Bengaluru for effective monitoring and surveillance of COVID-19 situation.

Meanwhile, the state’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 21,549 on Saturday after 1,839 new coronavirus cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll, on the other hand, soared to 335 with 42 more casualties since Friday.