Karnataka has imposed a night and weekend curfew on the entire state. The night curfew will be in force from April 21 to May 4, from 9 pm to 6 am. A weekend curfew shall also be enforced from April 23 at 9 pm to Monday at 6 am. Schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions etc. will remain closed. Online learning and distance education shall continue.
All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums. yoga centres, spas, sports complexes, stadia, swimming pools, entertainment and amusement parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain closed till May 4. Restaurants and eateries will be permitted to operate and only take home (parcel) is allowed.
Only swimming pools that are approved by the Swimming Federation of lndia can be opened for sports persons and for training purpose only.
All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious gatherings, other gatherings and large congregations are also prohibited. Stadiums and playgrounds are allowed for organizing sports events and practising purposes, but without spectators.
All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for the public. However, all personnel engaged in services at the place of worship shall continue to perform their rituals and duties without involving any visitors.
The decision comes after an all-party meeting convened by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, that was attended by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and floor leaders of both the houses of legislature was held on Tuesday.
Essential services like shops, including ration shops (PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths. meat and fish, animal fodder are permitted.
Wholesale vegetable markets, fruit markets and flower markets shall be permitted to operate from open spaces or playgrounds strictly adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The shifting process shall be completed by April 22.
Lodging hotels will be open for guests as well. Standalone liquor shops and outlets, bars and restaurants are permitted for takeaway only.
All food processing and related industries are permitted to operate. Banks, insurance offices and ATMs are permitted. Print and electronic media is permitted.
Delivery via e-commerce websites will also be permitted. Barber shops, salons, beauty parlours are permitted to be open with COVID-19 protocols strictly enforced. All establishments, wherever possible, should encourage employees to work from home, the government said.
Only neighbourhood shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish will be allowed to function from 6 am to 10 am.
Marriages can have only 50 guests while cremation and funerals should see a gathering of maximum of 20 people.
What happened at the all-party meeting
The virtual all-party meeting was attended by the CM, who joined in from Manipal Hospital where he is receiving treatment for COVID-19, and his cabinet colleagues â€” R Ashoka, Basavaraj Bommai and Dr K Sudhakar, who joined from the CMâ€™s home office â€˜Krishna,â€™ and Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, who joined from Ramanagara. Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah joined from his official residence, KPCC President DK Shivakumar from KPCC office, HD Kumaraswamy from Apollo Hospital and HD Revanna from Hassan.
Former CM HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) advocated a complete lockdown to be imposed immediately to curb the increasing coronavirus cases while another former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of the Congress called for prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC. After listening to all sides, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said he will look at all options. The Governor meanwhile asked the government to abide by the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
Dr Sudhakar, at the beginning of the meeting, briefed the leaders on what capacity building has been done including arrangement of beds, oxygen cylinders, as well as vaccination. All ministers spoke against imposing a complete lockdown.
TAC, a panel of experts that advises COVID-19 measures, had told the government to implement Section 144 of CrPC and had asked for a ban on public gatherings. Though Health Minister K Sudhakar had been pushing for a one-week lockdown, most other ministers were against the suggestions as they believed this would deliver a huge setback to the local economy.
The latest decision comes at a time when the state is seeing a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, stretching the resources at the stateâ€™s disposal. The state currently has 1,42,084 active COVID-19 patients, of which almost a lakh are in Bengaluru city. With patients struggling to find beds, the government has repeatedly asked private hospitals to hand over 50% of the beds for government quota, however, this has not happened. Most big hospitals in the city â€” both private and government â€” are almost full and it is becoming tougher for people to find oxygenated beds and ICU beds. Though the BBMP increased the number of crematoriums reserved exclusively for COVID-19 patients, ambulances have been queuing up outside these crematoriums.