With plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions at places with less positivity rate, the Karnataka government is likely to review containment measures announced by it effective across the state, next week, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said on Thursday, January 6. At a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday, some ministers expressed reservations about enforcing restrictions across the state, especially in places where the positivity rate is low.
"We have issued the COVID-19 protocol to be followed till January 19. In today's cabinet meeting some ministers questioned the need for it to be implemented across the state, especially in places where there are less infection and low positivity rate," Madhuswamy said.
Hence it was decided to review these restrictions by January 14 or 15 and consult the technical advisory committee on the matter, he told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
"We are planning to relax restrictions as much as possible where it is not necessary," he added.
The Karnataka government on Tuesday had decided to impose curfew on weekends and restrict public gatherings to fight the third wave of COVID-19, till January 19. It also decided to continue the night curfew for two more weeks, and has prohibited all rallies, dharnas and protests, among other gatherings.
Pointing out that cases have doubled and the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, Madhuswamy said the government's intention is to curb its spread at an initial stage and not to cause inconvenience to anyone.
"Life is important, somehow we want to control it at the initial stage. The cases are more in Bengaluru and last time when we imposed restrictions only in Bengaluru, people moved from here to rural places and other areas and cases started increasing there. Hence we have imposed restrictions everywhere this time, taking precautions," he said.
Responding to a question, he further said that the rate of hospitalisation or requirement of ICU beds or ventilators will be less this time compared to the last two waves. "We want to bring down the rate of infection. Also there have been clusters, so we want to take preventive measures from the beginning."