Bengaluru police extend Covid curbs despite a dip in daily cases

Published on Sep 28, 2021 01:25 AM IST
Karnataka on Monday reported 504 new Covid-19 cases, out of which 181 were reported in Bengaluru. Apart from Bengaluru, all other districts reported less than 100 new cases. 20 deaths were reported on Monday, out of which 5 were reported in the city.
The prohibitory orders from police come despite the Karnataka government’s decision to extend further relaxations from October 1 during Covid pandemic. (Agencies)
The prohibitory orders from police come despite the Karnataka government’s decision to extend further relaxations from October 1 during Covid pandemic. (Agencies)
By, Bengaluru

Even as the city continues to see a dip in Covid cases, police commissioner Kamal Pant on Monday extended prohibitory orders in Bengaluru till October 11, 6 am. Night curfew will remain in force from 10 pm till 5 am. The order restricts the assembly of more than four persons in public places and activities except those which are permitted under the guidelines.

Any violations of this order will be dealt with under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020, and under Section 188 of the IPC, according to the order.

The prohibitory orders come despite the state government’s decision to extend further relaxations from October 1.

A member of the Technical Advisory Committee said that the recent decision of the government to allow cinemas, auditoriums, multiplexes, and pubs to operate at100% seating capacity was against the recommendation of the TAC. “We understand that the decrease in Covid cases, especially the positivity could be a motivator to allow more relaxations, but the R-value in the city is still above 1,” said the experts who didn’t want to be named.

R is the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average. “We have seen in the past that after a big dip, an increase in the cases are witnesses. So, at least till the entire population has received at least one dose of vaccination, no further relaxations should be allowed,” said the expert.

Talking to the media, Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar said that the government is preparing for a potential third wave, even though the numbers are coming down. “We have augmented our capacity in beds and oxygen supply significantly. The number of ICU beds in Karnataka before Covid was only 725. Currently, the state has 3,877 ICU beds in government medical colleges and government hospitals -- an increase of 5-6 times. There were 4,847 oxygenated beds before Covid,” he said.

He also added that decision to allow 100% occupancy in theaters was announced after realizing the vaccination programme had reached a large number of people. “We are only allowing people with at least 1 dose in these places. We have allowed the economy to pick up as well, but we are doing it all precautions in the place,” he said.

Karnataka on Monday reported 504 new Covid-19 cases, out of which 181 were reported in Bengaluru. Apart from Bengaluru, all other districts reported less than 100 new cases. 20 deaths were reported on Monday, out of which 5 were reported in the city.

The total number of active cases in the state is at 12,804. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.54%, the case fatality rate (CFR) was at 1.16%. The state has been consistently reporting less than 1,000 cases a day for more than two weeks now, which begs the question of whether more relaxations should be provided.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers and business owners have voiced their dissent against the state government’s decision to continue with the daily night curfew from 10 pm till 5 am, claiming to shut down shops while keeping the traffic movement normal at night shows the ineffectiveness of the Covid-19 regulation.

A member of the Bangalore Commercial Street Merchants Association said that they have been given assurances that the curbs will be relaxed since the number of Covid cases have come down, but so far nothing has happened. “This night curfew has been in place for more than 200 days now. When the government announced a lockdown to control the spread of the virus, we cooperated because it was important. But we can’t understand the purpose of the night curfew now,” said the officer bearer.

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