The Karnataka government has announced a night curfew between 10 pm and 6 am from Wednesday (December 23) till January 2, due to concerns over the new strain of coronavirus detected in the UK, which is said to be 70 per cent more infectious that the earlier one.
Karnataka is the second state after Maharashtra to announce a night curfew. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa requested “everyone to cooperate” with the night curfew.
The Karnataka government has also said all passengers coming from the UK will have to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR tests within 72 hours of arrival.
“The night curfew has been done to prevent and contain the coronavirus strain found in the UK. We are also monitoring international passengers arriving in the state,” Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said. However, Dr Sudhakar said there is no ban on inter-state travel. He told the media that Christmas celebrations will be allowed on Friday (December 25), but added: “Between December 23 and January 2, no event or festive celebration will be allowed after 10 pm. It applies to every kind of event.”
Schools will reopen for class 10 and class 12 students from January 1, the state Health Minister said.
On Monday (December 21), Maharashtra announced a night curfew from 11 pm to 6 am till January 5 in Mumbai and other cities.
On Tuesday (December 22), the Centre said that the new strain has not been yet been seen in India, which is among more than 30 countries that have announced a temporary UK travel ban.
The new strain was first reported in the UK in September. Italy and Denmark have also reported cases with the new strain. World Health Organization’s Emergencies Chief Michael Ryan said, in a press conference, that the new coronavirus variant is not yet out of control but added that “it cannot be left to its own devices.”
COVID-19 cases in India have crossed the 1 crore mark and 1.46 lakh deaths have been reported so far.