Karnataka bans public gatherings for Holi, Ugadi, Good Friday, Shab-e-Barat

The Karnataka government has directed the authorities concerned, including the BBMP, to ensure the rule is followed.
A man sitting with bags of purple and yellow holi powder
A man sitting with bags of purple and yellow holi powder
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In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, the state government has announced that public gatherings for upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat and Good Friday will be prohibited across the state. These include gatherings in public grounds, parks, markets and religious places. In its order, the government has directed that all authorities concerned, including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, must ensure that the order is followed. 

“It is anticipated that gatherings, congregations and public celebrations during upcoming festivals like Ugadi, Shab-e-Barat, Good Friday etc may pose a considerable threat of spread of virus and may cause a setback to the appreciable gains made in the suppression of chain of transmission of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka,” the order read. It also warned that action will be taken against those found in violation of these rules. 

On Thursday, state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar announced that all those travelling to Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru will need to carry a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report, and will apply to those travelling by all means of transport. Earlier, the Karnataka government had made carrying a negative test report compulsory only for those entering the state from Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and Chandigarh. 

The state government has also said that, in a bid to curb infections, those who opt for home isolation will be hand-stamped. Since Tuesday, Karnataka has been reporting more than 2,000 cases of the coronavirus every day. According to the state Health Department, Karnataka recorded 2,523 fresh cases on Thursday. Of these, 1,623 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone, bringing the total case count in the state to 9,78,478. 

On Monday, Dr K Sudhakar said that a second wave of COVID-19 has begun in the state. “We will all be responsible for the aftermath if the government and people do not respond to experts’ reports,” he said.

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