State News SahilOnline, Leading news portal from Coastal Karnataka, bringing you latest updates from the Coast, State, Nation and the World, in Kannada, Urdu and English. State News Karnataka: Chinnaswamy Stadium to be turned into COVID-19 care centre The M Chinnaswamy cricket stadium and the Bengaluru Palace in Karnataka will be converted into a COVID-19 care centre, informed the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) on Thursday. Karnataka CM to hold COVID-19 review meeting with BBMP corporators on Friday Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has scheduled a meeting for Friday with all 198 corporators of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to review the COVID-19 situation, informed the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) on Thursday. Pvt hospitals have agreed to provide 3,500 beds for COVID-19 treatment: Karnataka Minister Karnataka Medical Education K Sudhakar on Wednesday said the managements of private hospitals have agreed to provide 3,500 beds for treatment of COVID-19 patients. Ministers to be appointed as in-charge for each zone in Bengaluru for COVID management Amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday decided to appoint ministers as in-charge for each zone in the city, aimed at effectively managing the pandemic. COVID-19: No decision on lockdown for Saturdays in Bengaluru Even as the Karnataka Government decided to impose complete lockdown on every Sunday till August, it has not yet been decided whether the same will be implemented on every Saturday. Pressure builds on BSY to impose lockdown as Karnataka registers 2K new virus cases For the first time, fresh Corona positive cases in Karnataka crossed the 2,000 mark and stood at 2062 while the deaths recorded touched 54. Independent MLA tests positive for coronavirus in Karnataka An Independent MLA from Karnataka has tested positive for the coronavirus. Uprooted tree blocks NH 73 between Mangaluru-Chikamagaluru National Highway 73 between Mangalore-Chikmagalur road was blocked after a huge tree was uprooted and fell on the road near Somathadka on Thursday due to heavy rain which has been lashing the region since last three days. HC stays Karnataka government''s order banning online classes The Karnataka High Court has stayed the Karnataka government''s order banning conduct of online classes by schools stating that banning it encroaches upon the Fundamental Right to Life and Education. Biggest single day spike of 2,062 COVID-19 cases and 54 deaths in Karnataka Karnataka on Wednesday reported a biggest single day spike of 2,062 new COVID-19 cases and a record 54 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 28,877 and the death toll to 470, the health department said. Karnataka 2nd PUC Result 2020 will not be declared today, expected by July 20 Karnataka 2nd PUC Result 2020 will not be declared today, confirmed the state education minister S Suresh Kumar on Thursday, July 9, 2020. The Karnataka 2nd PUC results is expected to be released around July 20, 2020, or the second last week of July 2020. Karnataka Dy CM launches 6 locally developed products to fight Covid Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwathnarayan on Tuesday launched six Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved products made by startups to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19: 1,498 new cases and 15 deaths in Karnataka Karnataka on Tuesday reported 1,498 new Covid-19 cases and 15 fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 26,815 and the death toll to 416, the health department said. No community spread of COVID-19 in Karnataka: State govt tells Centre The Karnataka government on Tuesday told a central team that there was no community transmission of COVID-19 in the state and that the pandemic has not yet reached the third stage. 27 Bengaluru cops test positive for COVID-19 in ten days Twenty-seven police personnel, including at least 13 of a station, have tested positive for coronavirus in a city division in the last ten days and five of them discharged after treatment, a senior officer said on Tuesday. Kerala stops daily passes for commuters to Kasaragod, Mangaluru The Kerala government has stopped issuing daily e-passes for those commuting between neighbouring Kasaragod district and Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada District in Karnataka from Tuesday in the wake of rise in the number of Covid-19 cases on both sides of the border. Karnataka considering awarding 5 marks in NEET exams to students involved in Covid related work, says Minister State Government is considering to award 5 marks in NEET exam for medical students involved in COVID related work, Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Monday. Community transmission of coronavirus in Karnataka, says minister Madhuswamy Coronavirus is spreading at the community level in Karnataka, said minister, JC Madhuswamy on Monday. Amid COVID-19 scare, curbs on holding weddings with gatherings in two Karnataka districts Amid rising COVID-19 cases, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol on Monday asked the Kalaburagi and Bagalkote district administrations not to permit weddings with gatherings as it could lead to the spread of the virus and instead hold it at the sub-registrar offices concerned. Karjol is also the in-charge minister of both the districts. COVID-19: Tourism activities banned in Karnataka''s Kodagu district The Karnataka government has banned all tourism activities in Kodagu district with immediate effect, in view of rising number of COVID-19 cases. Asha workers to boycott work from July 10 across Karnataka Asha workers across Karnataka, who are on the frontline of battling the pandemic, will boycott work from July 10 as the State government has failed to meet their demands. Asha workers (Accredited Social Health Activists) had on June 30 called for a statewide protest if the government failed to address their concerns about inadequate wages, technical issues that delay their remuneration, and the lack of protective equipment. They are demanding that the State government provide them a monthly wage of Rs 12,000 which would include the honorarium they currently receive and incentives. MP Sumalatha, Congress MLA Ranganatha test positive for COVID- 19 in Karnataka Actress turned Member of Parliament Sumalatha Ambareesh and Congress MLA H D Ranganatha tested positive for COVID-19 in Karnataka on Monday. Sumalatha, an independent MP from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, tweeted she has tested positive and is currently under home isolation as there were only "very mild" symptoms. Purchase of COVID-19 equipment: K''taka CM terms Siddaramaiah''s allegations of misappropriation "unnecessary" Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday termed Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah''s allegations of misappropriation against his government in the purchase of COVID-19 equipment as "unnecessary" and asked him to examine all the documents personally. No 7 Day Institutional Quarantine For Those Returning From Maharashtra: Karnataka Karnataka on Monday exempted those travelling to the state from Maharashtra from the mandatory seven days of institutional quarantine, further modifying its COVID-19 quarantine norms. Karnataka Congress MLA tests positive for COVID-19 A Congress MLA in Karnataka has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalised here, party sources said on Monday. Strict action against private hospitals for refusing to treat COVID-19 patients: Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar Criminal cases will be registered against private hospitals that refuse treatment to COVID-19 patients, Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Sunday. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demands probe into purchase of COVID-fighting gear Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Mallikarjun Kharge have slammed the State Government over alleged irregularities in the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other COVID-fighting equipment. Pointing out that the Public Accounts Committee under H K Patil had raised the issue, Kharge said all purchases of PPEs and other equipment to fight the Coronavirus by the government should be investigated. ICUs will be set up at COVID care centres in Bengaluru: Karnataka dy CM CN Ashwath Narayan The Karnataka government will set up intensive care units in all COVID care centres here, the Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan said on Sunday. 'Learn to live with COVID-19, no other option left', says Karnataka CM Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that the "country will have to learn to live with coronavirus as there are no options". Karnataka govt announces ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for kin of Mangaluru landslide victims Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of a youth and a child, who died due to a landslide at Gurupura in Mangaluru. 147 new COVID-19 cases in Dakshina Kannada Bengaluru and Dakshina Kannada accounted for 1235 and 147 new coronavirus cases respectively as the tally of those infected surged to 23,474 in the state. Karnataka coronavirus update: Patient escapes from hospital in Mangaluru A COVID-19 patient escaped from a hospital in Mangaluru on Sunday, Mangaluru Commissioner of Police Vikas Kumar. Karnataka: Former Union Minister tests positive for coronavirus Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister from Bantwal has tested positive for Coronavirus. Over 3,000 beds reserved in Bengaluru hospitals to treat coronavirus patients Amid the rising COVID-19 cases here, over 3,000 beds in private hospitals have been reserved for treating patients while a 10,100-bed coronavirus care centre, the biggest in the country, has been set up, authorities said on Sunday. Karnataka Records 1,925 Fresh COVID-19 Cases Karnataka on Sunday witnessed its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases with 1,925 additions and 37 related fatalities, taking the aggregate in the state to 23,474, the health department said. "Karnataka Buys Medical Supplies At Double The Market Cost": Siddaramaiah Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has alleged corruption in buying medical supplies to be used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Congress leader alleged the fraud by the BJP government in the state runs over Rs 2,000 crore. COVID Patient In Bengaluru Dies Waiting On Road For Ambulance In a heart-wrenching incident, an elderly coronavirus patient at Hanumath Nagar in South Bengaluru died outside his house waiting for an ambulance on Friday evening. The body was kept on the road for three hours. Dinesh Gundu Rao To Undergo Home Quarantine After Security Person Tests COVID-19 Positive Karnataka Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Saturday that he and his family would get tested for COVID-19 after one of his security persons tested positive for the infection.Rao's family will also be in-home quarantine for the stipulated time. Siddaramaiah asks K''taka govt to evaluate if SSLC exams were held safely Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Saturday suggested that the Karnataka government ascertain whether the recently concluded class 10 exam was conducted safely by checking the primary contacts of patients testing positive for COVID-19, between June 15 to July 20. Covid claims 21 lives in Karnataka in one day The Covid pandemic claimed 21 lives in Karnataka on Friday, the highest number of deaths the state has seen in a single day, taking the toll to 293. The state also saw the highest number of positive cases for a day at 1,694, while taking the total to 19,710. Bengaluru added 994 cases, again the highest for the day, to its tally of 7,173 positive cases. As officials have not revealed the source of infection of people who test positive over the past three days, there have been fears of community transmission in the city. Draft of industrial policy to be tabled in 10 days: Karnataka Minister A draft of the new industrial policy to develop industries in the second and third tier cities of Karnataka would be presented before the Cabinet in the next 10 days, a state Minister said on Friday. Union Health Ministry praises ASHAs’ role in Karnataka’s COVID-19 fight Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Karnataka have emerged as a "crucial pillar in the state''s success" in combating COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. SSLC exams conclude in Karnataka amid COVID-19 scare; CM The Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examinations in Karnataka concluded on Friday with an overall average of about 98 percent attendance amid the coronavirus scare. Four BJP members take oath as MLCs in Karnataka Four newly-elected BJP members took oath as members of the Karnataka Legislative Council on Friday. Decision on reducing market cess on APMC Traders will be taken on July 9 Karnataka Co-Operation Minister S T Somashekar on Friday said that the decision to reduce the market cess on Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) traders from across the state will be decided in the cabinet meeting to be held on July 9. Case filed against man for posing as PMO official in Bengaluru A case has been filed against a man who posed himself to be the PMO's National Security Council 'youth advisor' during his visit to Bengaluru. COVID-19: 8,800 booth level task force committees to be set up in Bengaluru Amid the rising COVID-19 cases, Karnataka government has announced to set up 8,800 booth level task force committees on Friday. Detailed guidelines were released for home isolation of asymptomatic cases and funeral of the dead bodies during the State COVID task force meeting held on Friday at Vidhan Soudha. Karnataka's 'Man of Lakes' honoured with free lifetime bus pass after PM's praise Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has provided a free lifetime bus pass to Kame Gowda, a man known as 'Man of Lakes', to recognise his environmental initiatives. Govt steadily increased testing capacity: K'taka Minister Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar held a meeting with senior officials on Thursday to review the COVID-19 situation in the state. COVID-19: Karnataka govt issues new guidelines for home isolation of asymptomatic, mild symptomatic patients Karnataka Government on Wednesday issued the guidelines for home isolation of COVID-19 patients in the state. COVID-19 scare: BMTC asks employees above 50 and with serious ailments to avail leave The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has asked all its employees aged above 50 and those with serious ailments to avail leave, following the recent spike in COVID cases in the city. Kumaraswamy slams Karnataka government for "poor handling" of COVID-19 Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday accused the BJP government in the state of ''failure'' to protect the citizens from coronavirus as he referred to reports of deaths of a few patients after being allegedly turned away by hospitals. PM Modi, Shah destroying the nation: Mallikarjun Kharge Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the "RSS needs to be defeated to save the country" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are "destroying the nation". D K Shivakumar officially takes charge as KPCC chief D K Shivakumar on Thursday officially took charge as president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee after over three months since he was appointed to the post. Yediyurappa should apologise to nation for Ballari incident: DK Shivakumar Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar on Wednesday said that the state Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa should apologise to the nation for the Ballari incident. Death of patient with ILI symptoms: Notice to 18 pvt hospitals in Bengaluru for ''denying'' admission Eighteen private hospitals here have been slapped with a show-cause notice after a 52-year old patient with influenza-like illness symptoms died here on being allegedly denied admission by them citing "non- availability" of beds. Health Minister B Sriramulu on Wednesdy said refusal to provide treatment was not only inhuman but also illegal as he tagged a copy of the notice in a tweet. Experts suggest treating asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic COVID patients in home isolation Experts have suggested that treating asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patients in home isolation would be appropriate as it would lessen the burden on hospitals, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Wednesday. Complete lockdown on 5 Sundays in Karnataka, marriages fixed will be allowed There will be a complete lockdown on five Sundays in Karnataka, starting from July 5 to August 2, the state government''s Unlock-2 guidelines said on Tuesday. However, essential activities and marriages already fixed on these days shall be permitted, a Government Order said. However, the number of guests should not exceed 50 in marriage-related gatherings. Karnataka Minister denies reports about confusion on valuation of 2nd PUC, SSLC exam papers Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar on Wednesday played down reports about confusion regarding valuation of Second Pre- University and the Secondary School Leaving Certificate exam papers. Video on dumping of COVID-19 victims'' bodies in Karnataka triggers outrage A video purportedly showing health workers burying inappropriately some bodies of COVID-19 victims in a large pit allegedly in Ballari district in Karnataka has surfaced, triggering an outrage on social media. State health Minister B Sriramulu said the workers concerned have been suspended and that health workers should follow the protocol for disposal of bodies. COVID-19 cases breach 15K mark in Karnataka;947 new cases and 20 deaths COVID-19 cases in Karnataka breached the 15,000 mark on Tuesday, with the state reporting 947 new cases and 20 related fatalities, taking the death toll to 246, the health department said Set up all party COVID monitoring panel: Siddaramaiah to CM Citing allegations of corruption and nepotism in the management of COVID-19 treatment, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday urged Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to immediately constitute an all party COVID monitoring committee to examine related issues. COVID-19 peak linked to consistent decline in daily toll, says public health care expert Only when the daily death toll due to coronavirus comes down consistently can one say for sure that COVID-19 has peaked in India, a prominent public health care expert said on Tuesday. President of Public Health Foundation of India Prof. K Srinath Reddy said the country is seeing greater spread of the virus because of increase in testing rates, and mobility and mixing of people post the COVID-19-induced lockdown. Goats and sheep quarantined after shepherd contracts COVID-19 About 50 goats and sheep have been kept in isolation at a village in Tumakuru district after a shepherd tested positive for coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. PU, SSLC results will be out in July last and August first week: Karnataka Minister The results of second pre-university and the Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination results will be out by July last week and August first week, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said on Monday. Karnataka reports single day high of 918 new Covid-19 cases; 596 infections in Bengaluru Karnataka on Saturday reported a single day high of 918 new coronavirus cases taking the overall tally in the state to 11,923, the Health department said. Covid-19 cases cross 11,000 mark in Karnataka; 445 new cases and 10 deaths The number of Covid-19 cases in Karnataka breached the 11,000 mark with the state on Friday reporting 445 new positive cases and ten fatalities, taking the death toll to 180. The day also saw 246 patients getting discharged in the state after recovery. 14 more deaths, 397 new corona cases in Karnataka Fourteen more patients succumbed to Covid-19 in Karnataka even as 397 new cases took the state''s total tally to 10,118, an official said on Wednesday. Karnataka Health Minister hints at lockdown in Covid-hit Bengaluru again Amid rising Covid cases in the city, the Karnataka government may have to re-impose the lockdown in Bengaluru after consulting with experts, said a minister on Tuesday. Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar's wife, daughter test COVID-19 positive Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar's wife and daughter have tested positive for COVID-19, a day after his father was confirmed to have been infected with the virus. Vijayapura: COVID-19 positive woman delivered of twins In a heart warming news in the time of a pandemic, a COVID-19 positive woman was delivered of twin girls here on Monday. Sedition case: Advocate seeks NIA probe against Amulya Leona An advocate from Mandya filed a petition before the Karnataka High Court, seeking the transfer of the sedition case against Amulya Leona to the National Investigation Agency. The petition, filed by H L Vishala Raghu on June 16, has not yet been assigned a petition number COVID-19: 249 new cases & five more related deaths in Karnataka Karnataka reported 249 new COVID-19 cases and five related fatalities, taking the total number of infections in the state to 9,399 and the death toll to 142, the health department said on Monday. 3 killed while performing stunts on bike in Bengaluru Three people were killed on Sunday while allegedly performing stunts on a bike here at the airport road in Bengaluru. Karnataka CM calls emergency meeting over COVID-19 situation in Bengaluru  Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday called an emergency meeting over increasing COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru. Karnataka ropes in 518 private hospitals to augment Covid-19 treatment facilities In a bid to ensure more beds for asymptomatic patients and to relieve Covid-19-designated government hospitals, the Karnataka health department has notified 518 private hospitals to take in patients referred by the government. Karnataka government lays down criteria to appoint Pollution Control Board chief The Karnataka government has set the criteria to appoint a chairperson to the state pollution control board. Karnataka may have up to 25,000 active cases by Aug 15: COVID War Room chief Active coronavirus cases in Karnataka may reach around 25,000 by August 15 if the state maintains the current compounded daily growth rate of 4 per cent, a senior government official said on Monday while stressing the need to stick to social distancing and wearing masks to contain spread of the virus. COVID-19 tally in Karnataka breaches 9,000 mark; Bengaluru reports 196 new infections As many as 453 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Sunday including 196 in Bengaluru alone, taking the total number of infections in Karnataka to 9,150, the Health Department said. Five more deaths took the toll due to COVID-19 in the state to 137, a bulletin issued by the department said. Karnataka govt asks pvt unaided schools not to hike fees The Karnataka government on Friday issued a direction to private unaided schools in the state not to increase the tuition fees during 2020-21 academic year. Lakhs of students sit for second PUC exam in Karnataka Bengaluru: The second year pre-university course (PUC) English paper examination in Karnataka was held on Thursday with social distancing and other safety norms, nearly three months after being postponed in March due to the COVID-19 lockdown. An estimated 5.59 lakh students were slated to appear for the examination at over 1,000 thousand centres across the state. Only the English paper was left out as the examination scheduled on March 23 could not be conducted in view of the coronavirus lockdown. The department of pre-university education had issued the standard operating procedure for conducting the examination including sanitising the exam halls, the length of the benches, the number of students to be present in each room, thermal screening and usage of sanitisers and masks. The Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Suresh Kumar visited a few schools in Bengaluru to take stock of the situation. There were reports that social distancing was given a go-by at some centres in different parts of the state as the students, staff and parents huddled under the tin roofs due to heavy downpour. Naushad Kashimji case: CCB to grill Ravi Poojary CCB police have started probing the involvement of gangster Ravi Poojary in the 2009 murder of advocate Naushad Kashimji. Police have obtained Poojary’s custody for 10 days for the case. Karnataka: 160 Kannadigas stranded in Kuwait arrive at MIA The first chartered flight repatriating Indians stranded at Kuwait since months landed at the international airport here. 8 dead, Covid toll breaches 100 mark in Karnataka Eight patients succumbed to Covid-19 in Karnataka even as 348 discharges outnumber 204 infections, raising the state''s tally to 7,734, said an official on Wednesday. 'Seditious silence': Siddaramaiah tears into PM Modi over India-China standoff BENGALURU: Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday dubbed as "seditious" and "anti- people", Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'silence' on violent clashes along the Sino-Indian border. He also levelled similar allegations against Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the Indo-China conflict. Following the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan valley in Ladakh, in which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred, Siddaramaiah in a series of tweets said that the Prime Minister did not give any official statement about the developments unfolding on the border. "It's almost seven weeks since the border disputes started with China. However, till now the Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Defence Minister Rajnath Singh did not give any official statement. The silence of the rulers is not only anti-people but also seditious," Siddaramaiah tweeted. He added that it was not the government but the country, which fights against the enemy nation and that the dispensation was answerable to the people of the country. "It is the people of the country who have reposed their trust on the Central government. It is the responsibility of the government to take people into confidence," Siddaramaiah stated in his tweet. The former chief minister said the Congress was always committed to the unity, integrity and sovreignty of the country. He stressed that the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers should not go waste and called upon people to pay tribute to the valourous soldiers who laid down their lives. He also appealed to the people to condemn China. SC declines to consider plea against SSLC exams in Karnataka New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to consider a plea against the proposed Class 10 SSLC Board examination between June 25 and July 4 in Karnataka, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the petition filed by Smt Rajshree against the May 27 judgement of the Karnataka High Court that had declined to cancel the examinations. The court said there was no merit in the petition and the High Court's view was correct. Karnataka's Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi defended the decision to conduct the examinations. The petitioner, for her part, apprehended high risk to the health and lives of lakhs of minor students.  The plea contended the High Court failed to appreciate that the proposed examinations would not only pose serious health risk to lives of 8.48 lakh minor students but also to 25 to 30 lakh people involved in the entire process. Allowing the Class X exams to go on during this COVID-19 pandemic, exposing more than 8.48 lakh children to travel to the examination centres and be exposed to large crowds of 500 to 700 persons at each examination centre for more than 10 days, would be a complete denial of the right to health guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, she said. Despite existent Standard Operating Procedure and guidelines in place, the decision would violate  the right to life and health of minor students, which can be protected  by promoting them based on their internal assessment marks taken by the school, as many other states have done, the petitioner said. She said the entire examination process would involve the travelling of more than 25-30 lakh people in the State. Many would come from within containment zones and would be forced to use crowded buses and transport facilities to reach the examination centres where not less than 500 people would be present and physical distancing would not be possible, she added. Cong fields B K Hariprasad and Naseer Ahmed as candidates for Karnataka MLC polls The Congress on Wednesday decided to field senior party leader B K Hariprasad and incumbent Naseer Ahmed as candidates for the coming legislative council polls in Karnataka. "The Congress President Sonia Gandhi has approved the proposal for the candidature of B K Hariprasad and Naseer Ahmed as Congress candidates to contest the biennial elections to the Legislative Council of Karnataka to be elected by the MLAs," the AICC said in a release. The election is necessitated as the term of seven MLCs- Naseer Ahmed, Jayamma, M C Venugopal, N S Bose Raju, H M Revanna (all Congress), T A Sharavana (JDS) and independent D U Mallikarjuna- will end June 30. Polling will be held on June 29 to fill seven MLC berths, and June 18 is the last date for filing of nominations. While the BJP is in a position to win four out of seven seats, the Congress can win two and the JD(S) one. Twenty-eight valid votes of MLAs are required for each candidate to win. Hariprasad''s candidature has been announced as his tenure in the Rajya Sabha is coming to end on June 25. He has also served as general secretary of the party. Naseer Ahmed, who is retiring as MLC on June 30, will be seeking another term. According to state Congress president D K Shivakumar, more than 200 aspirants have sought tickets for the two seats that the party can win in the legislative council polls. Karnataka govt to take steps to improve telecommunication system in the state Bengaluru:  With the concept of "Work-from- Anywhere" gaining popularity, a meeting of all stakeholders will be called soon to improve the telecommunication system in Karnataka and action will be taken in this regard, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said here on Wednesday. The Chief Minister, who reviewed the Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology department''s progress, said that by improving the telecommunication network in the government and private sector, efficiency and quickness in the functioning of government offices and other places can be improved. "Necessary action will be taken in this regard," he was quoted as saying by his office in a release. Appreciating the department and its officials for extending moral support to industries during the COVID-19 situation, Yediyurappa complemented several startups that contributed in COVID management and extended help during the lockdown. He said the government is considering establishing a medical equipment and technology sector in the state in the days to come. The Chief Minister, who also reviewed the progress of the Skill Development Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Department, asked officials to take steps to constitute an advisory committee for Industrial Training Institutes, comprising experts from the industrial sector as its members. "This will not only help improve the quality of training at ITIs, but also help in providing employment opportunities for students," he said. Noting that 112 ITIs in the state have currently joined hands with the industries, Yediyurappa suggested that more institutes and industries come together with an aim at providing training on the subjects for which there is demand in the sector. Based on the demand from industries, training will be provided under the department''s programmes, which will also increase employment opportunities, he said. The Department, with aim at solving the unemployment problem of those who have returned to Karnataka from other states and countries due to COVID-19, was registering their details, the Chief Minister said. "So far 41,000 people have registered. There is more demand for getting employment and training in sectors like agriculture, tourism and construction," he said. He also acknowledged the department''s work in providing work to Self Help Group members during the COVID lockdown period. Karnataka BJP shortlists 4 names for Council bypoll Bengaluru,: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shortlisted 4 names, including two defectors from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) for the June 29 biennial election to contest 4 of the 7 Karnataka legislative Council seats falling vacant, an official said on Tuesday. "The state core committee shortlisted 4 names and sent them to New Delhi for our high command's approval so that they can file nominations by Thursday to contest in 4 of the 7 Council seats," party official G. Madhusudhana told IANS. The 4 are H. Vishwanath, M.T.B. Nagaraj, M. Shankar and Sunil Velyapure. Vishwanath, former JD-S leader, and Nagaraj, former Congress minister, lost in the assembly by-elections on December 5 from Hunsur in Mysuru district and Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural district. "As Vishwanath and Nagaraj resigned from their assembly segments in July 2019 with 15 other rebels, which led to the fall of the 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government on July 23, 2019, the committee recommended their names for the Council seats," said Madhusudhana. Shankar, who was an Independent and a minister in the former coalition government, was not given the BJP ticket to contest in the December assembly bypolls though he too resigned from the Ranebennur assembly seat in Haveri district, about 340 km northwest of Bengaluru, along with former Congress and JD-S rebels. Vishwanath, Nagaraj and Shankar are also aspiring to become ministers in the 10-month-old BJP government after getting elected to the Council, as there are 4 vacancies in the 34-member Yeduiyurappa cabinet. Velyapura is the party's grass-root leader from Chincholi in Gulbarga district in the state's northern region, about 586km from Bengaluru. "He (Velyapura) extensively campaigned in the May 2019 general elections and ensured the victory of our candidate Umesh Yadav from the reserved Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat, defeating Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge," recalled Madhusudhana. As the party has 116 legislators in the 225-member Assembly, all its 4 candidates will need 28 votes each to win the contest. Of the 7 outgoing Council members, 5 are from the Congress and one each from the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and an Independent. With 68 lawmakers, the Congress will be able to retain 2 seats and the JD-S one as it has only 34 legislators in the lower house. Of the 75-member Council, the opposition Congress has 37, BJP 19, JD-S 16, two Independents and one Chairman. Cop who died of cardiac arrest in Karnataka found to have COVID-19 An assistant sub-inspector of police who died of heart attack was found to be infected with coronavirus, while two of his colleagues at the police station here have also contracted the infection. Congress high command to decide MLC candidates: Karnataka unit chief D K Shivakumar Congress Karnataka unit chief D K Shivakumar on Tuesday said the party high command will decide the candidates for the MLC election amid growing clamour in the party to select low profile grassroot level workers just as BJP chose its two Rajya Sabha members. SC to hear plea against SSLC exams in Karnataka A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court's order of May 27 declining to cancel  the Class 10 SSLC Board examination in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the high risk to the health and lives of lakhs of minor students.  317 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths in Karnataka Bengaluru:  Karnataka reported 317 new cases of COVID-19 and seven fatalities, taking the total number of infections in the state to 7,530 and death toll to 94, the health department said on Tuesday. The day also saw 322 patients getting discharged in after recovery. After Udupi, Kalaburagi became the second district in the state to have reported over 1000 cases. As of June 16 evening, cumulatively 7,530 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 94 deaths and 4,456 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin. It said, out of 2,976 active cases, 2,904 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 72 are in ICU. Those dead include five from Bengaluru urban and one each from Ramanagara and Bidar. The deceased from Bengaluru include two men (aged 72 and 60), and two women (65 and 85 years), 41-year-old man (Ramanagara) and 49-year-old man from Bidar. Out of 317 new cases, 108 are returnees from other states, majority of them from neighboring Maharashtra, while 78 are those who returned from other countries by and large from the UAE. Of the fresh cases, Dakshina Kannada accounted for 79, Kalaburagi 63, Ballari 53, Bengaluru urban 47, Dharwad eight, seven each from Udupi and Shivamogga, six each from Raichur, Yadgir and Uttara Kannada, Hassan five, four each from Vijayapura, Mysuru, Gadag, Ramanagara, Chikkamagaluru and Koppal, Belagavi three, Bidar two, and one from Tumakuru. Udupi district tops the list of positive cases, with 1,035 infections, followed by Kalaburagi 1,007 and Yadgir 828. Among discharges also Udupi tops with 817 discharges, followed by Kalaburagi 474 and Bengaluru urban 361. A total of 4,57,267 samples were tested so far, out of which 7,936 were tested on Tuesday alone. According to the bulletin, 4,39,654 samples have been reported negative so far, and out of them 7,308 were reported negative today. Reports from Ladakh disturbing, PM, Defence Minister should present clear picture: Deve Gowda Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Tuesday termed as ‘disturbing’ the violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley and said the government should offer a clearer picture to the nation on the border issue. He sought to know as to how Indian soldiers lost their lives during a de-escalation process and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh should come out with a clearer picture. “Reports coming from #GalwanValley are disturbing. Why did our soldiers lose their lives during a de-escalation process? In national interest, the PM and RM should offer a clearer picture to the nation on the border issue with the Chinese. #LADAKHSTANDOFF,” Gowda tweeted. An Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed during the confrontation with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the first such incident in the last 45 years that reflected massive escalation in the five- week border row. The Army said India lost an officer and two soldiers during the violent face-off, while there were casualties on the Chinese side as well. Registration on Seva Sindhu portal mandatory for people entering Karnataka: Govt Bengaluru: People who will be coming or transiting through Karnataka will have to mandatorily register on Seva Sindhu portal, according to an order of the state government. "The registration on Seva Sindhu portal is mandatory for all persons coming in or transiting, through Karnataka by providing the correct information about their contact number and destination address. All transport companies such as airlines, railways and, road transport companies are required to ensure that their passengers have done the registration on Seva Sindhu Portal for the relevant mode of transport before boarding the flight, train or bus," read the order. As per the order, people coming from Maharashtra shall be placed under 7-day institutional quarantine followed by 7-day home quarantine while those coming from Delhi and Tamil Nadu to be under 3-day institutional quarantine and 11-day home quarantine. People coming from states other than Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu shall be placed in 14-day home quarantine. The other quarantine norms including those for business travellers, transit travellers and special category travellers shall be in accordance with the protocol issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department. The state government said that any violation of the quarantine norms or failure to register on Seva Sindhu portal or giving of incorrect information by the incoming persons or carrying of passengers by the transport companies without registration on the portal shall attract penal action as per section 51(b) of The Disaster Management Act 2005 and section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Combat COVID-19: Karnataka to celebrate 'Mask Day' on June 18 Bengaluru: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday announced that the state government will celebrate 'Mask Day' on June 18 to spread awareness about the importance of masks to contain COVID-19 spread. The 'Mask Day' will be celebrated in all district headquarters and taluks. "The state government will celebrate Mask Day on June 18 to spread awareness about masks and its importance. The Mask Day will start from Ambedkar statue, Vidhana Soudha. Film actors and sports personals also will be present in the programme. It will be celebrated in all district headquarters and taluks as well," Yediyurappa said in a press conference. "We will take strict action against those who are not maintaining social distancing. A fine of Rs 200 will be imposed on those for not wearing a mask in public places," he said. The Chief Minister informed that 44,000 tests have been done in the state and the government is doing 7,100 tests for every 10 lakh people. "We are doing 7,100 tests for every 10 lakh people. Out of 7,000 cases, 4,386 are from Maharashtra and 1,340 contacts of persons who returned from Maharashtra. 216 are international passengers, 87 are from Delhi, 67 from Tamil Nadu and 62 from Gujarat," he said. K'taka to utilise pvt hospitals to treat Covid: Minister Bengaluru:  Private hospitals will also be roped in to treat Covid patients at government fixed costs in Karnataka, said a minister on Monday. "Decision will be soon made on roping in private hospitals to treat Covid patients," said Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar. However, he clarified that the cost for testing and treating patients will be determined by the government. "Strict action will be taken against hospitals which try exploit people by charging exorbitant prices. Private sector has to join hands with the government in this battle against the pandemic," he said, Commenting on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, Sudhakar said only MDA and CE approved kits are being purchased and people need not worry about their quality. The minister said that he is personally visiting all the districts to monitor the state of the pandemic in the southern state. On bringing Covid treatment under the ambit of insurance, Sudhakar said he will discuss with the union Health Ministry to bring Covid under ABARK. He quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation which said wearing marks can reduce the spread of the infection by 90 per cent and exhorted everybody to wear a mask. The minister requested the press and media to raise Covid awareness with facts and help people overcome fear and anxiety about the virus. "Bengaluru has about 607 cumulative cases so far and 330 among them are still active. Only six of them are in ICU and 93 per cent of them are asymptomatic," he said. According to Sudhakar, Coronavirus is not as lethal as SARS and Karnataka''s mortality rate is 1.2 per cent compared to the national mortality rate of 2.8 per cent. "Except the fact that corona is spreading fast, it is not as dangerous as past viruses. For example, mortality rate in SARS is 10 per cent. So the media should create awareness among the public with these facts and figures rather than creating panic," he added. Will request PM for more relaxations in Karnataka: Yediyurappa Bengaluru:  Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday said he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi for more relaxations, as he made it clear that COVID-19 lockdown measures were not required in the state anymore. "The lockdown is not required for Karnataka, we will request for more relaxations," Yediyurappa said in response to a question about video conferencing with the Prime Minister. Speaking to reporters here, he said, "I will request him (PM) to make way for- people to lead a normal life and for the improvement in the economic situation." Several services such as metro, theatres, gyms, swimming pools, bars among others continue to remain restricted under unlock 1.0 that is currently in place. Modi is scheduled to hold a video conference with Chief Ministers of various states on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yediyurappa is scheduled to take part in the video conferencing on Wednesday. The Chief Minister, who took part in the special pooja organised at Shankar Math here to pray for the control of COVID-19, said, the government was making all efforts to control the spread. "We are taking strong measures and all of us should fight this together," he said, as he highlighted that the government has released the financial assistance amount that was announced for farmers, and was ensuring that it reaches them. COVID: Over 4,000 total discharges in Karnataka; 213 new cases and 2 deaths A total of over 4,000 COVID patients have been discharged in Karnataka so far, as the state on Monday reported 213 new cases of coronavirus and two related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 7,213 and the death toll to 88. Three days institutional quarantine for those coming to Karnataka from Chennai and Delhi: CM B S Yediyurappa Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Monday said those coming to the state from Chennai and Delhi will have to undergo three days of institutional quarantine followed by 11 days of home isolation. Up till now, a seven-day institutional quarantine was prescribed for those returning from Maharashtra, while there was no mandatory institutional quarantine for asymptomatic people returning to Karnataka from other states. Those returning from states other than Maharashtra were asked to quarantine themselves at home. “Those coming from Maharashtra are subjected to seven days of institutional quarantine, followed by seven days of home quarantine, while those coming from Chennai and Delhi will have to go for three days of institutional quarantine and 11 days of home quarantine,” Yediyurappa said. Speaking to reporters here, he said the decision has been taken following the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in these states. “It is because of returnees from other states the cases have increased, not because of the local (intra-state) movement, so we have to control people coming from outside, we have to quarantine them and have to tighten measures. We are making honest efforts in this regard,” he added. Yediyurappa was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting with top ministers and officials to discuss the surge in Covid cases in the state. “There are no plans for any lockdown, and we will request the Prime Minister for more relaxations,” the Chief Minister said in response to a question. Of a total of 7,000 cases in the state, 4,386 are returnees from Maharashtra and 1,340 are their contacts. While 216 have returned from abroad, returnees from other states include Delhi 87, Tamil Nadu 67 and Gujarat 62. Noting that there are indications that the number of coronavirus infections are expected to increase in the days to come, Yediyurappa assured the people that the government would take all the precautionary measures required, and appealed to people to cooperate, follow social distancing, and wear masks. He said it has been decided to observe the coming Thursday as “mask day” by organising a walk across the state and the main event will be held at Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat. “Strict measures will be taken against those not wearing masks and not maintaining social distancing here on. Initially, a fine of Rs 200 will be imposed throughout the state,” he said. Further, he said, a special Covid-19 taskforce has been constituted for Bengaluru and its surrounding areas, the BBMP (city civic body) Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of neighbouring districts have been asked to pay special attention. As of June 14 evening, cumulatively 7,000 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 86 deaths and 3,955 discharges. Of the 2,956 active cases in the state till last evening, 2,940 patients were in isolation at designated hospitals and were stable, while 16 were in ICU. Yediyurappa said the State’s mortality rate is 1.2 per cent, while the national average is 2.8 per cent. The State’s recovery rate is 56.6 per cent and the national average is 51 per cent, he said, adding that 93 per cent of the total cases are asymptomatic, while the remaining seven per cent are symptomatic. Bengaluru had 697 cases, 330 of which were active. The city has reported 36 deaths.