The Karnataka government on Saturday decided to lift the night curfew and start regular classes for Classes 1 to 9 from January 31.
"There will be no night curfew from January 31. The night curfew curbs have been lifted," Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka briefed reporters after a high-level meeting with the experts and officials, which was chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B C Nagesh, who accompanied Ashoka, said all the schools will open from January 31. "Schools from first (Class 1) to ninth standard (Class 9) were closed due to COVID-19 third wave. From Monday, all the classes will open. Everyone has to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour as recommended by the experts," Nagesh said.
He explained that if anyone tests positive for coronavirus in a class, that particular class will remain shut and every child will undergo test but the school will function as usual. Nagesh said the deputy commissioner of the district concerned will decide how long the class should remain shut.
According to Ashoka, other decisions taken in the meeting were that the public transport vehicles will accept passengers as per the sitting capacity. The government allowed pubs, bars, restaurants, and hotels to remain open completely and allow 100 per cent occupancy. However, only 50 per cent of the occupancy will be allowed in the cinema halls, multiplexes, swimming pools, gyms, sports complexes and stadia.
For marriages, 300 people will be allowed to congregate in open spaces and 200 people in closed spaces. Similarly, offices will now have 100 per cent occupancy. The government also permitted all kinds of services at the religious places. However, only 50 per cent of capacity at the religious places will continue.
Fairs, rallies, sit-in demonstration, protests, social gatherings and religious gatherings have been prohibited. In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, the government had imposed curbs including night curfew and weekend curfew from January 4. Since the hospitalisation and fatalities are much less than the first and second wave of COVID-19, the government decided to ease curbs, officials told PTI.
According to state Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, the overall hospitalisation on Friday was 1.9 per cent. "Overall hospitalisation rate in Karnataka as of Jan 28th is 1.90%. 5,477 people of the 2.88 lakh active cases are hospitalised. Patients in Non-oxygenated beds: 1.24%, Patients in Oxygenated beds: 0.42%, Patients in ICU/Ventillators: 0.24%," Sudhakar tweeted on Saturday.
With inputs from PTI.