BBMP moots closure of gyms, party halls, swimming pools

Five zones in city reporting over 100 cases a day

March 19, 2021 05:37 pm | Updated 10:01 pm IST - Bengaluru

Creating awareness:  Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner V.V. Jyothsna distributing masks on Friday.

Creating awareness: Kalaburagi Deputy Commissioner V.V. Jyothsna distributing masks on Friday.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), worried about the rise in COVID-19 cases, wants the State government to close open air gyms in parks, regular gyms, swimming pools and party or community halls in apartments to stem the spread of the virus. It plans to submit its recommendations, which also include reduced occupancy in theatres, to the State government.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said that five zones – East, West, South, Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli – were reporting more than 100 cases a day. In comparison, the number of cases is fewer in Rajarajeshwarinagar, Dasarahalli and Yelahanka zones.

“In light of the increase in cases, we have already had preliminary discussions with the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare. We will recommend closure of gyms, swimming pools and party/ community halls in apartments, apart from closure of open air gyms in all BBMP parks,” he said.

Admitting that there was no data on the number of cases that could be attributed to the closed setting of cinema theatres, Mr. Prasad said that the civic body would recommend bringing down the occupancy to 50% with alternate seats left vacant.

Random checks at malls

The BBMP will also monitor and strictly enforce guest restrictions in marriage halls (200 people) and open air venues (500 people). If there is any violation, cases will be booked under Disaster Management Act on those who had sought permission for the event and the owners of marriage halls.

Mr. Prasad also reiterated that it is the responsibility of mall management and owners of shops in malls to ensure that citizens follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and sanitising and washing of hands.

“Marshals cannot go everywhere to enforce this. Random checks will be conducted and if there are any violations, action will be taken against mall management and shop owners,” he said.

The civic chief also noted that exhibitions being held in the city, especially those where the organisers are from other cities, are not following protocols. “We will initiate action against the organisers and hold them responsible,” he added.

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