Karnataka ends Sunday lockdown, night curfew amid Covid blues

Bengaluru, Aug 2 (IANS) People in Karnataka breathed easy as the Sunday lockdown was lifted and the night curfew withdrawn despite surge in coronavirus cases, according to an official, here on Sunday.

“As decided by the state government on July 30 on the advice of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Sunday lockdown has been lifted and the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. night curfew withdrawn,” a state home department official told IANS.

Lockdown had been re-imposed on four Sundays since July 5, and the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m night curfew since July 1 to July 31 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Though hotels, shops, markets, malls and parks re-opened, majority of people preferred to stay at home. It was evident from fewer people and less vehicular traffic in cities and towns across the state.

“As festival holidays began on Friday for Varamahalakshmi Vratam, Bakrid on Saturday and holiday on Sunday, most outstation people had left for their native places by Thursday night,” the official said.

But lockdown restrictions will remain in containment zones and only essential services and supplies are exempted.

“With more relaxations of lockdown, gyms and yoga institutes will reopen from August 5,” said the official. Schools, colleges, theatres, bars, entertainment parks, auditoriums, assembly halls and swimming pools will continue to remain shut till August 31.

“Ban on social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will also continue till further orders,” the official said.

Vulnerable people, including those above 65 years of age, with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years have been advised to stay at home.

With 5,172 new cases in the state on Saturday, Karnataka’s Covid tally shot up to 1,29,287. Of this, 73,219 are active cases after 53,648 were discharged, with 3,860 during the last 24 hours. So far, 2,412 people have died due to infection since March 9, with 98 during the day.

As epicentre of the pandemic in the state, Bengaluru accounted for 1,852 fresh cases, taking its tally to 57,396, including 37,760 active after 18,579 were discharged, while 1,056 succumbed to the virus till date, with 27 during the day.

–IANS

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