Karnataka is witnessing an “alarming rate of increase” in coronavirus patients, “attributed mainly due to (the) Omicron variant”, the Basavaraj Bommai government said late Tuesday evening, announcing the return of weekend curfews in the southern state from Friday. All those entering the state from Kerala, Goa, and Maharashtra will have to carry a negative RT-PCR Covid test report in a set of fresh curbs.
The number of patients is doubling in less than three days and the number stood at 2,053 on Tuesday, according to the official data. The weekend curfew, which starts from this Friday at 10 PM, will be in force till 5 am on Monday. The 10 pm-5 am night curfew is already in force.
During the curfew, essential services – including public transport – and hotels will function without any interruption, the state government has said.
The state’s Revenue Minister R Ashok at a press briefing, told reporters, “Omicron is increasing five-fold… 147 new cases of the variant have been reported today. Coronavirus cases in the state are rising twice as faster compared to earlier.”
“We have brought some guidelines to contain the spread in the state. Bengaluru accounts for 85 per cent of the state’s new cases. Schools will be shut for two weeks.”
Data shows us that cases are doubling every 2-3 days in Karnataka!
While the Government is working on containment measures for the new wave, appeal to everyone to strictly follow 3Ms:
????Maintain social distance
????Maintain hand hygiene#COVID19#Omicron#Karnatakapic.twitter.com/uaMEYQH9wz
— Dr Sudhakar K (@mla_sudhakar) January 4, 2022
Among other curbs to check the spread of the virus, especially the new variant, all schools, and colleges, except medical and para-medical colleges and classes 10, 11, and 12, will be shut from Thursday for two weeks.
All offices will function from Monday to Friday. Protests, rallies, and gatherings are banned.
Pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, cinema halls, theatres, auditoriums, swimming pools, and gyms will operate at 50 per cent capacity. At restaurants, hotels, and pubs, only visitors who are fully vaccinated with both doses will be allowed.
At weddings, not more than 200 people are allowed in open spaces and up to 100 people are allowed in closed spaces.
“In the first and second waves of COVID-19, the infection rate used to double once in 15 days and 8-10 days, respectively. But now, this is doubling in 1-2 days. We need to be cautious,” Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
The fresh curbs were announced after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, which was attended by senior ministers including health minister Dr K Sudhakar, Ashoka and Higher Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, medical experts and senior officials.
A majority of cases are being reported from Bengaluru, which is one of the major cities witnessing a Covid spike, apart from Mumbai, Delhi and others.