Ramping up efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in Karnataka, Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Wednesday, March 18, announced that the cabinet has earmarked Rs 200 crore to combat the fatal virus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2.

"For immediate expenses, we are earmarking about Rs 200 crore," Yediyurappa announced in the Legislative Assembly, adding that the restrictions that have been imposed in the state have now been extended till March 31.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa
Karnataka chief minister BS YediyurappaTwitter

The decisions were reached in a special cabinet meeting held to discuss measures to curb Covid 19, which is short for coronavirus disease 2019.

The CM also notified that all those flying into the state from international locations will be tested and placed under quarantine for 15-16 days. The state health department is also keeping a check on the spread of bird flu, swine flu and monkey fever.

Special task force to monitor Covid-19 in Karnataka

Apart from providing massive monetary help, the Karnataka government will also set up a task force to be headed by Health Minister B Sriramulu. The members of the task force will include Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, Medical Education Minister Sudhakar K, Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan C N, and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

As per state officials, all the members of the task force will meet daily to review reports on the novel coronavirus outbreak in the state. They will also discuss various measures that can be adapted to ward of the China-originated virus.

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

Besides, the government has decided to restrict the entry of the general public into the Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha, the seat of the state legislature and secretariat. It also made an appeal to avoid large public gatherings.

Two more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Karnataka, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 13.  The fatal virus has also claimed one life in the state.