The Karnataka government has proposed strict fines on establishments like restaurants, departmental stores and organisers of public events that fail to enforce COVID-19 safety protocols. An order issued by the state health department late on Wednesday has warned of a fine of Rs 5,000-10,000 on all establishments that do not enforce COVID-19-appropriate safety protocols such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.
‚ÄúThe owners of the establishment will be responsible for: a) ensuring compulsory wearing of masks and social distancing; b) enforcing restrictions on the number of persons to be allowed,‚ÄĚ read the order.
The number of attendees in weddings has been limited to 500 in open spaces and 200 in closed areas. The number has to be between 50 and 100 in birthday parties and funerals, depending on whether they are held in enclosed or open spaces. Religious and political events can have a maximum of 500 people.
The fine for not wearing masks will be strictly enforced again. It is Rs 250 in urban areas and Rs 100 in rural areas.
The rules were announced after Karnataka recorded over 2,000 COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row. The state reported 2,298 new infections and 12 related fatalities on Wednesday. Bengaluru Urban district reported 1,398 cases continuing the surge in cases reported this month.
The positivity rate in the state, which has steadily increased this month, was over 2% in five different districts on Wednesday. Udupi (3.5%) reported the highest positivity rate while Bidar (3.1%), Dakshina Kannada (2.5%), Kalaburagi (2.5%) and Bengaluru (2.3%) also reported a higher than normal positivity rate - the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested.
Kalaburagi accounted for 118 cases, Tumakuru 94, Bidar 82, Udupi 79, Mysuru 74, Hassan 60 on Wednesday.