Karnataka began unlocking further to revive its sagging economy and restore many activities despite surging cases of the coronavirus pandemic, an official said yesterday.
“Unlock 3.0 began earlier in the day in accordance with the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the standard operating procedures of the Union Health Ministry to open up more activities for restoring near normalcy,” a state Home Department official told IANS.
Lockdown restrictions, however, will remain in all containment zones across the state to control and reduce the Covid-19 cases.
“Night curfew from 9pm-5am has been withdrawn from today and total lockdown will be lifted tomorrow,” the official said, adding curbs on intra-state and inter-state movement of people and vehicles have been withdrawn.
With public holidays since Friday till today, cities and towns across the state have been free from grid locks and traffic congestion, as movement of people and vehicles have been less than normal.
“With more relaxations of lockdown restrictions, gyms and yoga institutes will reopen from August 5 across the state as directed by the home ministry,” the official said.
Schools, colleges, theatres, bars, entertainment parks, auditoriums, assembly halls and swimming pools will continue to remain closed till August 31 to prevent the spread of the virus.
Barring essential supplies and services, lockdown curbs will remain in all containment zones in cities and towns across the state.
“Ban on social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will also continue till further orders, as curbs will be lifted gradually after assessing the situation,” the official added.
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 across the state yesterday, Karnataka’s Covid tally shot up to 129,287, including 73,219 active cases, while 2,412 have died of the infection since March 9, including 98 yesterday.
Meanwhile, Karnataka’s Agriculture Minister B C Patil and his wife Vanaja have tested positive for the virus and are in home quarantine, an official said.
“As the minister and his wife are asymptomatic with only mild symptoms, they both are under quarantine at their own home,” Patil’s personal assistant Keeranna told IANS.
In a message to his family members and supporters, Patil said he would recover to get back to work soon.
“The minister’s son-in-law was also infected by the virus at Hirekerur in Haveri district, which is his assembly constituency,” Keeranna said.
Hirekerur is about 330km northwest of Bengaluru.
Patil is the third state minster to be infected.
Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Basavaraj Mattimud also tested Covid positive on Thursday and is under treatment at home in Kalaburagi.
In other developments, former Andhra Pradesh minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pydikondala Manikyala Rao, 59, died of Covid-19 yesterday.
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