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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Karnataka: Amid covid surge, experts recommend ‘weekend janata curfews’

With regard to the night curfew timings, TAC felt that the same should be extended to be from 8 pm to 6 am in addition to "weekend janata curfews" beginning 8 pm on Friday to 6 am on Mondays

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 21, 2021 8:24:02 am
A deserted look of electronic city flyover during night curfew imposed in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases across the country in Bengaluru (PTI)

With the number of active Covid-19 infections up at nearly 1.5 lakh from across the state, the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) constituted by the Karnataka government has recommended extension of night curfew timings and imposing “weekend Janata curfews”.

As per a report submitted by TAC, ahead of the all-party meeting convened by the Governor on Tuesday, clubs, swimming pools, gyms, sports complexes, film and drama theatres, auditoriums, video game points, parks, amusement parks, and arcades, video game should remain closed till May 31.

The TAC had earlier noted that the ongoing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to peak by the first week of May 2021.

Further, it mentioned that the government should enforce restrictions at public places in a strict manner and that section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) till the end of May. Experts in the Committee also noted, “All shops, malls, shopping complexes, and business establishments should remain closed. However, essential commodities and services should be provided during fixed hours.”

With regard to the night curfew timings, TAC felt that the same should be extended to be from 8 pm to 6 am in addition to “weekend janata curfews” beginning 8 pm on Friday to 6 am on Mondays

‘Exams should be postponed’

Taking into account the possible risks to students, teachers and invigilators involved in the process, the TAC has recommended that all exams that are scheduled to be held till May 31 should be postponed. “All schools and colleges (except those providing courses in health sciences) should remain closed, with classes based on online and distance education modes continued.”

Public transport, at the same time, should be capped at the prescribed seating capacity, experts remarked. Meanwhile, the report stressed, “All religious, social, cultural, and political functions and gatherings should not be allowed.”

For offices and workplaces, the TAC has suggested work from home and staggered timings to function. At places of worship, the Committee maintained that while daily rituals can be allowed following Covid-appropriate behaviour, it shall remain closed to public visitors.

Other facilities that needed to be restricted included restaurants and fast-food joints, where only parcel or takeaway services have been recommended. However, the report mentioned that all pubs and bars should remain closed.

Earlier on April 2, the government had announced a number of restrictions, including suspension of classes for students not appearing in board or university exams across the state till April 20.

However, most restrictions announced then were applicable only for select districts like Bengaluru (Urban and Rural), Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Bidar, and Dharwad.

Meanwhile, cases spiked in manifolds in the state with over 1.12 lakh new infections and 545 deaths in the first 15 days of April alone.

At the same time, 12 districts out of the total 30 reported over 200 new cases on Monday (April 19, 2021). Among these districts are Tumakuru (652), Mysuru (568), Kalaburagi (513), Hassan (320), Bidar (318), and Vijayapura (302), Dharwad (283), Mandya (279), Ballari (248), Raichur (228) and Dakshina Kannada (218).

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