Karnataka issues unlock guidelines
Bengaluru The Karnataka government on Friday released guidelines for relaxation of lockdown restrictions across 19 districts of the state, including Bengaluru, to allow economic activities and ensure that more livelihoods are not impacted.
The guidelines came a day after chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced some of the relaxations for most regions of the state and the continuation of the lockdown in 11 districts, where the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be severe.
“Just because we are unlocking, it does not mean the coronavirus has gone somewhere. Till when everyone has taken two doses of the vaccine, at least over 70% of the population gets it, that’s when we can relax a little bit and live like how we used to in 2019 and early 2020,” Dr K Sudhakar, Karnataka’s minister for health, family welfare and medical education, said on Friday.
He said unlocking of restrictions was taken based on calculations to ensure that more livelihoods are not impacted and more people do not fall below the poverty line.
Karnataka has extended the timings for essential services like grocery, meat, vegetables, liquor and other shops from 6 am to 2 pm, extending it beyond the 10am deadline till June 14.
The new guidelines will come into force after 6 am on June 14.
“Do not come out on the streets at once on June 14. Some people are already running around as though they have permission from now itself,” said Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka’s minister for home, law and parliamentary affairs.
Yediyurappa has also announced a night curfew on all days from 7 pm to 5 am and a weekend curfew to restrict movement in the state at least till June 21.
He said the government will review the Covid-19 situation closer to June 21, and then decide on further relaxations, if any.
Industries and other production facilities have been allowed to operate with 50% strength, while garment units have been restricted to 30% due to their labour-intensive process.
Bommai said the relaxations were mostly to kick-start economic activities. Establishments like bars, restaurants, hotels, malls, schools and other places where high footfalls in enclosed spaces occur, remain prohibited. Religious functions and political events are also not allowed, he said.
The state government said the already scheduled marriages can take place in homes with no more than 40 people and strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.
“No more than five people are allowed at funerals and cremations,” Bommai said.
Hundreds of people had gathered for the funeral of senior BJP legislator CM Udasi in Haveri district, who died on Wednesday. Several ministers BJP leaders were also found in violation of Covid-19 norms in the state.
Bommai said there were measures in place to conduct RAT (rapid antigen tests) in railway stations and bus stands.
Karnataka recorded 8,249 new Covid-19 infections at a positivity rate at 4.86%, a sharp decline in the positive cases. There were 14,975 recoveries that brought down the active caseload to 203,769, according to the daily bulletin of the state health department on Friday.
The fatality rate stood at 1.92% as 159 more succumbed to the virus, taking the toll to 32,644.
Bengaluru recorded a sharp decline as it registered 1154 new infections. There were 48 more deaths in Bengaluru, which took the toll to 15,263, data showed.
The active caseload dropped to 91,760 as 4,769 more recovered, according to the daily bulletin.