The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced a weekend curfew to curb coronavirus as it has been seeing an increase in infections mainly driven by the Omicron variant.

State Health Minister Dr Sudhakar K said that 149 new Omicron cases were recorded on Tuesday, taking the tally to 226. Also, the number of coronavirus patients had doubled in three days, he said, citing government data.

Overall cases almost doubled in the state on Tuesday, with Karnataka recording 2,479 Covid-19 cases. Of this, 2,053 were in Bengaluru Urban alone. The test positivity rate was 2.59%, while the previous day it was 1.6%.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held a meeting in Bengaluru with ministers on Tuesday, experts and senior officials to discuss the coronavirus situation in the city, following which the new restrictions were announced.

The guidelines will now come into force in Karnataka at 10 pm on Wednesday and will be applicable till 5 am on January 19.

  • A weekend curfew from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday will be imposed in the state.
  • The existing daily night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am on all days will continue in the state.
  • All offices will function between Monday and Friday. The government secretariat will run with 50% staff with officials below the under secretary post.
  • Schools and colleges will close from Thursday, except for students from Classes 10 to 12. Medical and paramedical colleges will be open as well.
  • Restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and other eateries will run at 50% capacity.
  • Cinema halls, theatres, rangamandirs and auditoriums will operate at 50% capacity.
  • Marriage functions taking place in closed spaces can host up to 100 guests. The limit has been capped at 200 if the event is in an open space.
  • Religious places can allow up to 50 people at once only if they are fully vaccinated.
  • Swimming pools, gyms and sports complexes can operate at 50% capacity.
  • All political rallies and protests are prohibited.
  • Persons coming from Goa, Kerala and Maharashtra will have to show a negative RT-PCR test.

Sudhakar added that Bengaluru will be the state’s “epicentre of the third wave” of cases too, The News Minute reported. “Taking special steps in Bengaluru has become very necessary,” he said. “Bengaluru is an epicentre. It was an epicentre in the first wave and second wave. It will be the epicentre during the third wave as well.”

Night curfew in Bihar

The Bihar government on Tuesday also imposed night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am starting Friday till January 21, the Hindustan Times reported. The decision was taken by a crisis management group meeting headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Kumar also cancelled his social campaigns and weekly Janata Darbars, or public courts. On Monday, 11 people had tested positive for coronavirus following the weekly event.

The state government has already announced closure of schools for students up till Class 8. However, students from Classes 9 to 12 will have to attend school. However, only 50% attendance has been allowed.

  • Government and private offices will run at 50% capacity.
  • All parks, gyms, cinema halls and swimming pools will be closed. Shops will remain open till 8 pm.
  • Only 50 guests can attend a marriage, whereas the limit is capped to 20 for funerals.
  • The government has permitted social, religious, cultural events with 50% capacity, to a maximum of 50 people.