Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday said night curfew will be imposed from December 23 night till January 2 across the state as a precautionary measure in line with the Centre's advice amid concerns over a new Covid-19 variant spreading in the UK. The CM made the announcement following a meeting with health minister K Sudhakar, members of the state Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Covid-19 and senior officials.
"In view of the new strain of the Covid-19 virus and as per the advice of the Government of India and Technical Advisory Committee, it is decided to impose night curfew from today till January 2, 2021 between 10 pm and 6 am. It will be applicable for the entire state. I request public to cooperate to prevent and contain the new Covid-19 strain," he said.
The CM, however, later tweeted to revise the curfew timings to 11pm-5am and said it would begin from Thursday and not Wednesday night.
ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದಿನಿಂದ ಜಾರಿ ಮಾಡಲು ಉದ್ದೇಶಿಸಿದ್ದ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಕರ್ಫ್ಯೂ ಬದಲಾಗಿ ನಾಳೆ, ಅಂದರೆ ದಿನಾಂಕ 24.12.2020 ರಿಂದ ಜನವರಿ 01, 2021 ರವರೆಗೆ, ರಾತ್ರಿ 11:00 ಗಂಟೆಯಿಂದ ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ 5:00 ಗಂಟೆಯವರೆಗೆ (ದಿನಾಂಕ 02.01.2021ರ ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ 5:00 ಗಂಟೆ) ಜಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುತ್ತದೆ. (1/2)— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) December 23, 2020
ರಾತ್ರಿ ಕರ್ಫ್ಯೂ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ, ದಿನಾಂಕ 24.12.2020 ರ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಕ್ರಿಸ್ ಮಸ್ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಪ್ರಯುಕ್ತ ನಡೆಯಲಿರುವ ವಿಶೇಷ ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನು (ಮಿಡ್ ನೈಟ್ ಮಾಸ್) ಯಾವುದೇ ಅಡಚಣೆಯಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಮಾಡಬಹುದು. (2/2)— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) December 23, 2020
Neighbouring Maharashtra on Monday had declared a night curfew in municipal corporation areas as a precautionary step amid growing concerns over a new coronavirus variant spreading in Britain. Yediyurappa said all those travelling to the state and arriving at Bengaluru or Mangaluru airports from foreign countries must have an RT-PCR Covid-19 negative certificate which should have been obtained 72 hours before their departure time. All arrangements have been made at the airport to conduct tests and health staff have been deployed there to ensure no one enters the city without getting tested, he said.
Responding to a question, the CM said all activities will go on as usual between 6 am to 10 pm. No one should come out after 10 pm, and guidelines will be issued soon in this regard, he said. "Regarding schools and colleges, we have discussed and informed that it will open from January 1 for class 10 and second year PUC (class 12), also Vidyagama students," he said, adding "Within two days we will see if there are any developments and come back. As of now it will start from January 1." Vidyagama scheme is aimed at taking school education to the doorsteps of students in rural areas who cannot afford to attend online classes due to various reasons.
Earlier in the day, state health minister Sudhakar had held discussions with the TAC members consisting of senior health experts in the state. Speaking to reporters, Sudhakar said all activities should be completed by 10 pm, including gathering of people in the name of events, festivities and New Year related parties, and the decision has been arrived at keeping in mind the public health.
The guidelines that will be issued will have details about services that will be given relaxation or exempted from the curfew, he said. Stating that all those who have arrived in the state from the UK since November 25, will be mandatorily monitored for 28 days, the Minister said they have to quarantine themselves.
"Those who have completed 14 days have to self-monitor till the 28th day, while those who have come in the last 14 days- our government, our department staff using technology will monitor them. Those with symptoms will be made to undergo RT-PCR test," he added. A total of 2,500 people have come to the state since November 25 to December 22 in two flights-Air India and British Airways.
The government has information on how many passengers have travelled each day, Sudhakar said, as he hit out at a senior Congress leader, without naming him, for claiming that 14,000 people have arrived. "Our government has nothing to achieve by suppressing accurate information regarding the number of infected or deaths or passengers. Why should we do it and for what. So I request leaders to gather accurate information before making such public statements," he said. About reports that two people who have come from the UK have tested positive, the minister said information is still awaited as tests are being done.
"If they are positive, then we will have to send it to genetic sequencing at NIMHANS, which is one among the four labs that is capable of doing gene sequencing and based on the studies we will have to take further precautionary measures on how to contain or prevent the new variant in Karnataka," he said.
With PTI inputs