Home / News / India /  Karnataka: Night curfew to continue, state to decide on district-specific Covid rules

The Karnataka government has decided to delegate to district authorities the power to formulate Covid containment measures instead of imposing a statewide curfew, reported news agency PTI on Saturday.

Along with this, the existing guidelines – night curfew across the state and weekend curfew in border districts – will continue. 

The state has also decided against resuming offline classes in districts where the Covid positivity rate is above 2%. 

The guidelines came after the Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 informed of its deduction that the second wave was not yet over. 

"We cannot formulate a statewide Covid-19 management plan. It should be district-specific," Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters after chairing a meeting with the experts, ministerial colleagues and officers. 

He said the decision on restrictions will be taken based on the positivity rate in the district concerned. 

It was also announced that stricter restrictions will be imposed in the capital city Bengaluru if the positivity rate reaches 2% and oxygen beds are occupied up to 40%. The positivity rate currently is at 0.75%. 

The CM said that bed and ICU facilities should be increased for children. He noted that the positivity rate is 0.75% in the city.

"At present, hospitalisation is very less. If 40 per cent of the oxygen beds are occupied, then further strict rules will be adopted. This power has been given to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike commissioner," Bommai said.

According to him, the experts have expressed concern about TPR not dipping as 1,600 to 1,800 fresh cases are being recorded per day. Towards the end of the first wave, the cases had come down to 300 cases a day, he explained.

"We have to prevent Covid-19 because this disease is still around. Since the cases are still remaining between 1,600 and 1,800, we need to be careful," the CM said. 

It was decided in the meeting to increase vaccination and testing in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Hassan, Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga and Bengaluru Rural. 

Further, the testing and vaccination should be increased in the villages up to 10 km inside Karnataka from Kerala and Maharashtra borders, which are witnessing aspurt in cases. 

Testing should also be increased in Bengaluru, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Ballari, Bidar, Koppal, Haveri, Vijayapura, Tumakuru and Chikkamagaluru, the chief minister said. 

The government also decided to set up six genome testing labs in the next three weeks in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Kalaburagi and Belagavi to track the new variants. 

Regarding vaccination, the chief minister said as of Saturday four crore people have been vaccinated. The state has a stock of about 15 lakh vaccines while it will receive 30 lakh by the month-end. 

"We are demanding more vaccines. Next week I am going to meet the union health minister. We are getting 65 lakh vials every month, which should be increased to one crore. If that arrives, we can vaccinate all the districts," Bommai said. 

To a question, the chief minister said a case has been filed in the Kerala High Court against Karnataka for insisting upon a negative RT-PCR test report for people arriving from that state. 

"It's a different matter that we will fight it out legally but I would like to say that the first wave started from Kerala and maximum cases related to second wave is in Kerala. Hence, Kerala has to control Covid cases," the chief minister said. 

He said Kerala's failure in containing Covid is causing trouble to Karnataka, which has been impacting the health infrastructure and human lives. 

"It's my opinion that controlling Covid is better than filing cases in the High Court," Bommai quipped. 

Regarding the opening of schools, the chief minister said schools will be opened from 23 September and not 23 August. The classes will resume in two batches alternatively. 

"The Standard Operating Procedure is ready regarding how many students should be allowed and what precautions to be taken," the CM added. 

With regard to festivals, Bommai said guidelines and conditions would continue this year as well.

With inputs from agencies. 

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