Karnataka govt orders shutdown of pubs, malls, theatres; bans mass gatherings over coronavirus scare

Last Updated : 14 March 2020, 05:42 IST
Last Updated : 14 March 2020, 05:42 IST
Last Updated : 14 March 2020, 05:42 IST
Last Updated : 14 March 2020, 05:42 IST

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The state government on Friday pressed the emergency button, directing for shut down of malls, theatres, all education institutes and commercial establishments for a week to curb spread of the coronavirus by preventing mass gathering. The order will come into effect from Saturday.

Chief Minister B S Yedyurappa announced the measures after a detailed discussion with all department heads on Friday. "As a precautionary measure we are closing down the places across the state where mass gatherings happen for the next one week. "We are the first state to take this decision," he said, indicating that the government is not taking chances in the fight against the spread of the virus, which causes the Covid-19.

The closure direction applies to malls, theaters, pubs, colleges, schools, wedding halls, sports arenas and other establishments where people come in contact with each other. Similarly, all schools, colleges and universities have been told to shut down for a week. The rules include restrictions on even private events like wedding, naming ceremony, engagement or birthday parties directing the organising parties to ensure that such events do not lead to coming together of a large number of people. In other words, weddings can be conducted as a small family event with not more than 100 persons in attendance.

Yediyurappa sought to reassure the public that the measures were being enforced for their own safety and that they will be reviewed after one week. "I request people not to shake hands, instead to do namaskara when they meet up people," he added.

The chief minister said they were taking all precautionary measures after India witnessed the country’s first COVID-19 death late on March 12 in Karnataka, after samples of a 76-year-old man, who was a suspected COVID-19 patient and passed away on March 10 night, tested positive for the disease.

The chief minister advised all residents to stay at home and be safe. He also said that a coordination committee had been formed to look into the detection of COVID-19 positive cases across the State. “Private hospitals should immediately report suspected cases to the government hospitals,” Yediyurappa said.

No right of refusal

No person suspected to be Covid-19 will be allowed to exercise the right of refusal to treatment. The government has made quarantine of such persons mandatory, regardless of his/her consent.

Further, the order empowers local authorities to enforce restrictions, including barring entry of vehicles into such areas to shutting down of the entire areas where a person has tested positive to Covid-19, to make sure that the virus will not spread to others.

While not issuing a direction, the government suggested to the IT-BT companies to allow their employees to work from home for a week.

Restaurants to remain open:

However restaurants and eateries will remain open. But the state government has asked people not to go out. Pankaj Kumar Pandey commissioner for department of Health and Family welfare said, "People can order their food online using various online platforms which delivers food to their doorstep."

Except SSLC & PUC, all exams postponed

Though the chief minister said that all colleges and schools should close down from Saturday and students should come only for exams, the state higher education department issued an order asking all government, aided and private unaided degree colleges and universities to close down for 15 days starting from March 14 and all scheduled and ongoing examinations of universities have been postponed until further orders.

However, the director of Pre University Education department said that, the examinations for second year PUC will be go on as per the schedule.

Even SSLC exams which are scheduled to be held from March 27th will be conducted as per the time table.

What are open for public access in Karnataka?

- Bank/ATM
- Government offices
- Examinations scheduled for high school and PUC students
- Hospitals
- Small shops
- Vegetable outlets
- Milk
- News paper
- Restaurants
- Metro
- Train service
- Buses both KSRTC and BMTC
- Pharmacy shops
- Legislature session

What are closed?

- Malls
- Cinema halls
- Pubs and night clubs
- Exhibitions
- Summer camps
- Sports events
- Marriages, conferences, parties or engagements
- Sports arena including Swimming pools
- Play area includes Gym
- Music and other fests and events
- IT employees and employees working in air-conditioned offices to work from home
- Schools and colleges
- Day care centres

Published 13 March 2020, 10:06 IST

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