Karnataka: 26 students test COVID-19-positive at Basavanahalli school; classes suspended
As many as 26 students tested positive for COVID-19 at a school in Basavanahalli of Karnataka's Davanagere district on Saturday, sending authorities into a tizzy. After their reports came out positive, classes at Basavanahalli High School and College were immediately suspended. Recording an alarming upsurge in cases, Karnataka has consistently been featuring among the top five worst-hit Indian states in recent days. Here's more.
In-person attendance for Classes 10-12 not mandatory, says government
The development comes in the wake of the Karnataka Government announcing a slew of decisions—including closing boarding/residential hostels for primary and secondary schools and optional in-person attendance for Classes 10-12—to control the COVID-19 spread. Also, classes for higher/professional courses were also suspended, except for classes due for Board/University exams and that of Health Sciences. The order was issued by Karnataka Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar.
Persistent rise in COVID-19 cases recorded last month: Government
"There has been a persistent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last month and not following COVID-19-appropriate behavior may cause a setback in gains made by the state in cutting off the chain of COVID-19-transmission (sic)," stated the Karnataka Government's order. "As more youngsters are turning positive and the possible source of infection could be their educational institutes," it added.
Gyms, party halls, clubhouses, swimming pools to remain closed
According to the state government's order, gymnasiums, party halls, clubhouses, as well as swimming pools have been directed to remain shut. On the other hand, the order has also said that the occupancy limit in buses cannot exceed the vehicle's seating capacity.
Only 50% seating allowed in cinema halls, restaurants, bars
The government also ordered cinema halls to follow an alternative seating arrangement so that the total occupancy doesn't exceed 50% of the seating capacity. Similarly, restaurants, bars, clubs, and pubs were directed to ensure compliance with the 50% maximum seating cap. These establishments, along with shopping malls, have been told to abide by COVID-19 protocols like mandatory face masks, hand-sanitizers, and following social-distancing norms.
Private sector employees advised to continue working from home
Private sector companies have also been asked to operate in the work-from-home mode as much as possible. Moreover, the government has banned rallies and sit-in protests in the state as part of the fresh restrictions. "If there is any violation, the facility shall be closed till the COVID-19 epidemic is over (sic)," said the state government in its order.
Restrictions in place in these districts till April 20
All the aforementioned restrictions will be in place in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Bidar, and Dharwad districts until April 20. The Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka Government has also ordered the police department and civic agencies to ensure strict compliance of the COVID-19 safety norms and other related protocols.
Karnataka recorded nearly 5,000 fresh cases on Friday
On Friday, Karnataka registered 4,991 fresh COVID-19 cases—its highest single-day surge so far in the ongoing second wave. Of these, 3,509 cases were reported from Bengaluru Urban alone. Also, the positivity rate (number of people testing positive per 100 tests) of Bengaluru stood at 5.41%.