K’taka to see strict social distancing norms as Covid cases spike

In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, Karnataka Medical Education Minister, K. Sudhakar on Tuesday warned that the state government would not hesitate to take action against those who flout social distancing protocols.

Karnataka has also decided to stop large public gatherings and restrict the gathering limit of participation to 100 people in the days to come, the minister said after a meeting with the high-level expert committee on Covid-19 at the Vidhana Soudha here.

Sudhakar also appealed to the people to wear masks and stressed on the importance of wearing protective gear to avoid spreading the virus.

“The entire world is amid the battle against fighting Covid-19, it is important to use masks… Without taking simple necessary measures to stay safe, how can any government fight a dreaded virus like Covid-19?” he wondered.

He said as Covid-19 cases are on the rise for the past two months in the state, Karnataka is keen to bring in a stern rule against those who flout the social distancing rules in public.

“A detailed directive will be out in a few days. Despite raising awareness regarding the dangers caused by the virus, the public is neglecting by not wearing masks,” he explained.

According to him, political and religious gatherings were on the rise and people were attending in alarming numbers. “This is one of the reasons for the rapid spread of the virus. Hence, it has been decided to stop such large gatherings in the state,” he said.

The minister further said that events that are supposed to be held in unavoidable circumstances like marriages will be allowed with only 100 people that too with prior permission from the district administration.

He added that the state government was planning to organise awareness programmes jointly by roping in film stars, religious heads, political leaders, and artists.

Noting that the Covid-19 positive rate in seven out of 11 districts was 12 per cent and the death rate in the state is at 1.5 per cent, Sudhakar said that by imposing tough measures, the state plans to reduce this to less than 1 per cent.