Karnataka announces additional curbs as COVID-19 cases surge, bans all rallies, dharnas and protests

Karnataka announces additional curbs as COVID-19 cases surge, bans all rallies, dharnas and protests

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to extend the COVID -19 containment measures and issued new guidelines that would remain in force till the end of the month amid a sharp increase in the new cases of coronavirus infections.

In a bid to check the spread of Omicron and coronavirus cases, the Karnataka government imposed additional containment measures and banned all kinds of rallies, dharnas and protests across the state.

Issuing new guidelines, the state government said that the marriage functions will be held with not more than 200 people in open spaces and 100 people in closed places. The state government also intensified the surveillance at the borders with states like Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa – witnessing a spike in COVID cases.

The decision to this effect was taken after Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai chaired a review meeting on the COVID situation via video conferencing in Bengaluru. The meeting was attended by Karnataka government Ministers Dr K Sudhakar, BC Nagesh, Araga Dnyanendra and other senior officials.

The rise in cases among school children was also discussed in the meeting. A decision was also taken to authorise the Deputy Commissioners of respective districts to take a call on closing schools based on the number of cases, reports from the BEOs and Health officers.

Officials were instructed to arrange children`s ward, ICUs and other treatment facilities for children at Taluk and District hospitals. Education and Health department officials have been asked to conduct a general health checkup in schools every fortnight. District collectors and the Superintendent of Police have been instructed to strictly enforce COVID guidelines at public places.

Instructions were issued for monitoring the health of those in home quarantine and timely distribution of health kits for them. The Chief Minister wanted the officials to strengthen the Triaging to ascertain whether an infected person needs hospitalisation or not immediately on getting the test report. It was decided to utilise the services of House Surgeons and Final Year Nursing students in the Home Isolation and Triaging process.

The government decided to establish 27 COVID Care Centres in Bengaluru immediately. The Revenue and Endowment departments were instructed to issue appropriate guidelines to be followed during the coming Sankranti, Vaikunta Ekadashi and other festivals.

The daily COVID testing in Bengaluru is to be raised to 1.30 lakh. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to take stringent action against those holding public conventions. The state government instructed the local authorities to take action to decongest the market areas based on the ground realities. Karnataka had reported 11,698 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, out of which 9,221 cases were reported in Bengaluru only. In Karnataka, the active caseload stands at 60,148 including 49,000 active cases of Bengaluru.

As many as four people have succumbed to coronavirus infection in the state on Monday including two deaths reported in Bengaluru. It may be mentioned that Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai had on Monday evening said that he had tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

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