Covid-19: Karnataka government lifts weekend curfew; night curfew remains

Officials said that the hospitalisation rate is the current yardstick for the government to decide curbs
Last Updated : 21 January 2022, 11:32 IST

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In a respite for citizens and businesses, Karnataka decided Friday to lift the stay-at-home order on weekends, while retaining all other curbs such as the daily night curfew and 50 per cent capacity in restaurants.

Schools and colleges in Bengaluru Urban, where the positivity rate among children is high, will remain closed for in-person classes for students of classes 10, 11 and 12 (pre-university). They continue as per the directions currently in place.

The decision to withdraw the weekend curfew was taken in a two-hour-odd meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and attended by senior ministers, officials and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

“We have decided to cancel the weekend curfew based on the report by experts. But, this is conditional,” Revenue Minister R Ashoka said. “If the rate of hospitalisation crosses 5 per cent, then we will impose the weekend curfew again. So, we request people to be careful and follow guidelines.”

Ashoka said that the hospitalisation rate is the yardstick the government is following. “There are 2.93 lakh active cases. Of them, 2.86 lakh are isolated at home. Totally, there are 5,343 people in hospital, with 340 in ICU and 127 on ventilator (support),” he said.

The government was under tremendous pressure to end the weekend curfew. “One opinion that emerged in the meeting was that the state should be considered as one unit. Some argued that Bengaluru needs curbs as there are more cases here. But, we decided against having different rules for different places,” Ashoka said.

He justified the continuation of the night curfew every day from 10 pm to 5 am. “There’s a need to restrict night activities like partying. Also, people should be aware that Covid is still around.”

Primary & Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh said that except in Bengaluru Urban, schools and colleges will continue. “School will be considered as one unit. Local officials will decide on closing a school for three days if, say, 3-5 kids test positive. If 25-30 kids test positive, then the school will be closed for seven days,” he said.

The overall positivity rate of Covid-19 is 19.94 per cent, whereas it is 8 per cent for children.

“Out of 5.33 lakh tests, the positivity rate among children aged 6-15 is 5.94 per cent,” Nagesh said. “There are six districts where the positivity rate in this age group is 9 per cent whereas it is less than 5 per cent in all other districts.”

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Published 21 January 2022, 10:24 IST

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