The state government on Wednesday announced a night curfew from 10pm to 6am from December 22 till January 2, 2021 to evade the possibility of the new strain of Covid-19 virus making its way from the United Kingdom.
Having suspended all air traffic from the UK, India has been on high alert with regard to the new strain and states like Maharashtra have already imposed a night curfew to avoid further gathering of people in the streets and watering holes ahead of the new year revelry.
On Wednesday, taking a leaf out of Maharashtra’s rulebook, chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced the night curfew from 10pm to 6am based on the recommendations of the technical advisory committee (TAC) and that of the centre’s forewarning on the new strain of virus being a “superspreader”.
“For 9 days, from tonight till January 2 2021, I urge the people to cooperate with the government which is imposing the night curfew in light of the new strain of Covid-19 which has been identified in the UK,” said chief minister BS Yediyurappa.
Effectively, apart from emergency services and those who have exemption will have to remain indoors between the said duration for the next 9 days.
Further, Karnataka has also made it mandatory for all international passengers to secure a RT-PCR negative certificate 72 hours prior to departure from the host nation to either Bengaluru or Mangaluru international airports.
“We have taken enough and more precautions in this regard with a dedicated testing centre inside the airport and everyone will be screened before being allowed outside,” said Yediyurappa.
Later, elaborating on the night curfew and the testing of international passengers, health minister K Sudhakar said the government had consulted the TAC over the last two days and arrived at the conclusion of imposing the night curfew to avoid gatherings in large numbers outside for parties, weddings and new year revelry.
“A detailed SOP will be issued later in the day,” he said. On testing of international passengers, Sudhakar said that till date about 2,500 people have travelled from the UK between November 25 to December 22 and all of them have been traced.
“We have made it mandatory for all of these passengers to be mandatorily under quarantine for 28 days and the health department is keeping a close watch on them and their travel movements,” he said.
He said all those international passengers who test positive for the virus, their samples will be sent to four identified laboratories in Bengaluru including NIHMANS, IISc and NCBS for gene testing to identify whether it is the new strain which has come to the state.
“The gene testing will be free of cost and will not be charged to the person being tested,” he said.