Karnataka

COVID-19 | Govt. not in favour of night curfew: Home Minister

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai   | Photo Credit: Kiran Bakale

The government has convened a meeting of experts on Friday to discuss if it is necessary to impose restrictions during New Year and Christmas celebrations to stem a second wave of COVID-19, even as the debate continues on the need for a “night curfew.”

While Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the State government will explore other options rather than go for night curfew, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar questioned the need for any celebration, arguing that Ugadi is the new year for the Indian calendar.

Speaking to mediapersons in Udupi, Mr. Bommai said that the draft advisory prepared by the Health Department based on recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) suggested imposing night curfew. “We may not go for night curfew, but COVID-19 guidelines should be followed during the New Year celebrations,” the Home Minister said.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, Mr. Sudhakar said, “This is not a New Year according to Indian calendar. Ugadi is our New Year. Moreover, what is the need for celebrations during this pandemic? We have lost hundreds of people and our economy has been hit. Hundreds have lost their livelihood. In such a situation do we need celebrations?” he asked.

“In my personal opinion, I do not think night curfew is required. I also do not feel that the second wave will be severe in the State. However, I will discuss this with our experts in the Technical Adviosry Committee and seek their opinion. Final decision on restrictions during Christmas and New Year Eve celebrations will be made after consultations with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and cabinet colleagues,” he said asserting that the advisory note based on TAC’s recommendations had not yet reached him.

Pointing out that usually New Year celebrations see large crowds gathering, the Minister said it is practically very difficult to enforce social distancing and ensure that everyone is wearing mask.

“COVID-19 cases are on the decline now and we need to ensure that they do not spike again. There were restrictions in place even during Ganesha Chaturthi, Dasara and Deepavali festivals and even for Rajyotsava celebrations. I appeal to people that they should voluntarily avoid large gatherings and celebrate at home or at small gatherings,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:26:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-not-in-favour-of-night-curfew-to-prevent-spread-of-covid-19-says-home-minister/article33240148.ece

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