Concerned over surging COVID-19 cases, the Karnataka government on Monday banned parties and celebrations in apartments in Bengaluru to prevent them from turning into clusters. "As many COVID-19 cases are reported from flats or apartments in the city, parties and celebrations will not be allowed in their premises from Tuesday till further notice," the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.
However, it is unclear as to how authorities plan to implement this decision and further details are awaited.
After reviewing the pandemic situation across the state amid reports of a second wave at a meeting with ministers, experts and senior officials including Health Minister K Sudhakar, Revenue Minister R Ashok, Education Minister S Suresh Kumar, Excise Minister K Gopalaiah and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, however, decided not to impose a lockdown or night curfew but banned protest rallies and demonstrations to prevent crowding in public places and violation of COVID-19 guidelines over the next 15 days.
"No lockdown is being imposed but strict action will be taken against those who don't wear masks or maintain physical distancing," the Chief Minister said, as per the statement.
As annual exams are being held in many schools and colleges, they will not be closed for the time being and the situation will be reviewed after a fortnight.
Admitting that spike in positive cases across the state was a cause of concern, Yediyurappa urged the people to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, avoid crowding and wash hands regularly.
"If COVID-19 norms are violated, it will be difficult to bring the situation under control again, as cases are spiking in Bengaluru at an alarming rate," he cautioned.
According to the state health bulletin, 2,792 new cases were registered on Sunday, taking the state's total tally to 9.89 lakh, while recoveries rose to 9.53 lakh, with 1,964 discharged during the day.
In Bengaluru, 1,742 fresh cases were reported on Sunday, taking the cityâ€™s COVID-19 tally to 4.29 lakh, of which 16,259 active cases, while recoveries increased to 4.09 lakh with 1,356 patients discharged in the last 24-hour period.
With 16 patients succumbing to the virus during the day, including 9 in Bengaluru, 3 in Hassan, 2 in Mysuru and one each in Bidar and Mandya districts, the state's death toll rose to 12,520.
"Though mortality rate is low or below 1%, patients above 60 years of age are succumbing to the virus," added the statement. Cumulatively, 6.6 lakh people have been vaccinated across the state till date since the drive was launched on January 16.