The two age-old and iconic lung spaces in Bengaluru — the Lalbagh Botanical Garden and Cubbon Park — have been shut since Saturday in a bid to prevent public gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has been taken by the Horticultural Department as an extension to the partial lockdown put in place by the state government.
Earlier reports have said that there was already a steady dip in the number of visitors to these parks in wake of the pandemic.
Following Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s order, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner BH Anil Kumar had also asked people to refrain from using the open gym facilities or walk in the city’s parks.
As part of the advisory, he said, “Open gym equipment inside the parks must strictly not be used as the metallic surfaces are a potential source of infection if it gets in contact with an infected person.”
He added, “Refrain from any gatherings in such places for socialising, failing which the very purposes of all preventive measures get defeated.”
In addition to the existing lockdown, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has said that the police will strictly enforce the 14-hour Janata curfew called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi between 7 am and 9 pm on Sunday.
The statewide lockdown ordered by the Chief Minister till March 31 has made it compulsory for all malls, theatres, pubs and exhibitions to remain shut to stop the spread of the virus.
All conferences and cultural, sporting events have been ordered to be suspended until further orders. Private functions like weddings and birthday celebrations have been asked to be postponed or limit the number of guests to 150.
The Information Technology (IT) companies have been asked to inform its employees to work from home, barring those involved in essential and critical services.
As of March 22 morning, Karnataka has 20 positive cases of COVID-19. This includes the death of a 76-year-old man (in Kalaburagi) with comorbidities, who was tested positive for coronavirus.