The Karnataka government on Thursday imposed a night curfew in seven districts of the state from Saturday between 10 pm and 5 am to contain the spread of the coronavirus, reported The News Minute.

The curfew, which will remain in place till April 20, was enforced in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumkur and Udupi. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that essential services will be exempted from the curfew.

The government has prohibited gatherings for fairs, festivals, religious and social events. It said that penalty will be imposed against those who do not wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

The decision was announced minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for imposition of night curfews. “The world has also accepted the night curfew,” the prime minister said in a meeting with chief ministers. “Curfew makes people remember that they are living in the age of corona. It is good that we promote night curfew as ‘corona curfew’. This will not affect work too much.”

Karnataka has reported a surge in coronavirus cases in the past few weeks. On Wednesday, the state registered 6,976 Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 10,33,560, reported The Indian Express. With 35 new fatalities, the toll climbed to 12,731. Bangalore Urban district alone registered 4,991 cases.

Various states have imposed a night curfew to contain the spread of the infection. Madhya Pradesh had on Wednesday imposed night curfew in urban areas of the state. Punjab too imposed a night curfew and banned political gatherings. Uttar Pradesh imposed a night curfew in four of its cities. Maharashtra and Delhi have also imposed similar curbs.

On Wednesday, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was imposed in Bengaluru. City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant had also banned public gathering and other such activities that involve big crowds to contain the spread of the infection.

The police chief had also directed markets, shopping malls, department stores and movie theatres to ensure strict compliance of the guidelines and that customers or visitors are adhering to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.