The Telangana High Court has directed the state government to impose restrictions on public gatherings in light of the upcoming festive season. While hearing a batch of public interest litigations related to COVID-19, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice N Tukaramji asked the Telangana government to restrict public gatherings during Christmas, New Year and Sankranthi celebrations. The court has directed the government to issue orders in this regard within three days, Deccan Chronicle reported.
In view of the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the court has reportedly asked the government to screen people entering Telangana from other states too, apart from international travellers. The court pointed out that the governments in Delhi and Maharashtra had already rolled out curbs on Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Two days ago, the Karnataka government announced restrictions across the state for New Year's Eve. On December 21, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that mass gatherings will not be allowed on the occasion, and special events like DJ parties will be prohibited across the state including Bengaluru. Mass gatherings will not be allowed, particularly in the MG Road area in Bengaluru, he said. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to function at 50% capacity. However, special events like DJ parties will not be allowed, even in apartments.
The Union government has advised states to consider imposing local restrictions ahead of the upcoming festive season. States have been advised to impose night curfews and ensure strict regulation of large gatherings.
Telangana has reported 38 Omicron cases in total as of December 22. Overall, the state recorded 182 new COVID-19 cases on December 22, pushing the tally to 6.80 lakh. The official COVID-19 death toll rose to 4,017 with one more fatality. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most cases with 91, followed by Hanumakonda (18) district, the Health Departmentâ€™s COVID-19 bulletin said.