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A couple wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus shop at a Christmas souvenir shop ahead of Christmas in Bengaluru, India, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Though Hindus and Muslims comprise a majority of the population in India, Christmas is a national holiday celebrated with much fanfare. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) (AP)
A couple wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus shop at a Christmas souvenir shop ahead of Christmas in Bengaluru, India, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Though Hindus and Muslims comprise a majority of the population in India, Christmas is a national holiday celebrated with much fanfare. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) (AP)

Night curfew in Bengaluru, Karnataka to check virus spread

  • The government said that midnight Christmas mass will be permitted on 24 December

BENGALURU : Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa on Wednesday said that there would be a night curfew from 11.00pm to 5.00 am with effect from 24 December to 1 January.

The measures come into place as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of covid-19 during the festive period and revelry on New Year's Eve.

"The movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 11.00 pm to 5.00 am, except for essential activities," the Karnataka government said in an order on Wednesday.

The government said that midnight Christmas mass will be permitted on 24 December. But special parties and large gatherings have been restricted on Christmas and New Year's, the government said.

The heightened caution comes days after the centre banned flights from the United Kingdom that is suspected to have found a new strain of the novel coronavirus.

The government has begun tracking people who returned to India from the UK in the last 14 days. The night curfew comes at a time when businesses were looking to make up for some lost business during the lockdown during the Christmas and New Year's period. Though Karnataka has been one of the worst impacted states due to covid-19, the number of people testing positive has come down in recent weeks. There were 7957 new cases reported across the state in the last one week as against a high of around 50,000 three months ago.

The night curfew was imposed in Karnataka based on the suggestions of the technical advisory committee. K.Sudhakar, Karnataka's health minister said that the government is tracking about 2500 people who returned from the UK who will then be placed under mandatory 28-day quarantine.

"We have four elite institutes in Bengaluru including IISc and NIMHANS to study genetic sequence of the virus. Sample of the positive persons will be given to these institutions for study and research will be conducted on new variant of the virus," he said.

The night curfew will not apply on movement of all types of goods through trucks, goods vehicle or any goods carriers, including empty vehicles, the government said.

"All industries/companies/organizations which requires operations at night shall be permitted to operate with 50% staff. Movement of employees of such organization shall be allowed on producing valid ID card issued by their respective Organization/Institution," according to the government order.

Factories and industries that need to be open 24/7 can remain operational and movement of long distance night bus, train services and air services are permitted, the government said.

Taxis and auto are permitted for movement of people to and from bus stops, railway stations and airports.

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