No New Year eve bash in Covid-hit Bengaluru


Bengaluru, Dec 3 (IANS): With Bengaluru accounting for about 50 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in Karnataka, the city civic corporation has urged the state government to ban New Year eve revelry in this tech hub to prevent the pandemic spread, an official said on Thursday.

"As the civic corporation is responsible for the health of the citizens, our commissioner N. Manjunatha Prasad has told the state government to prevent people from assembling in large numbers on December 31 night in public places across the city, especially in the downtown due to Covid risk," Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) official L. Suresh told IANS here.

As hundreds of people descend on the upscale M.G. Road and Brigade Road in the central business district for the New Year eve bash and party all night in pubs, bars and restaurants with family members or friends, Suresh said the civic body had favoured the ban, as it would be impossible to ensure social or physical distancing in such large gatherings.

"The technical advisory committee has also advised the state government to prevent crowding in public places, especially for religious or cultural activities to contain the virus spread and ensure the citizens' health is not risked," asserted Suresh, quoting Prasad's submission to the government.

Though new cases have been declining over the last 2-3 weeks across the city, Bengaluru registered a whopping 3,71,962 positive cases since March 8 when the pandemic broke in the state and has 18,938 active cases till Wednesday.

While 3,48,861 recovered so far, 4,162 succumbed to the infection till date across the city.

With 8,89,113 positive cases so far across the southern state, Karnataka ranks second after Maharashtra in the country in caseload or Covid tally and in death toll, which was 11,821 till Wednesday.

As 8,52,584 recovered and discharged from hospitals across the state, the active cases are 24,689 till date.

"Citizens, however, will be allowed to usher in the New Year (2021) in their homes or residential areas, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing and washing their hands with sanitiser," asserted Suresh.

The advisory committee, comprising health experts and epidemiologists, has also advised the state government to continue with the restrictions of the Union Home Ministry's to ensure the pandemic is contained and cases are reduced to the minimum due to fears of a surge in cases during winter as the second wave of infection.

"As large gatherings in public spaces, including places of worship were not allowed during festivals and religious events since April, the restriction will apply for even the New Year eve celebration," asserted Suresh.

The ban on New Year eve bash in public will be across the city, especially on roads, junctions, pubs, bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, malls and markets.

"The ban on revelry in public places will be announced soon after a meeting of chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa with state home minister Basavarj Bommai and state health minister K. Sudhakar and officials," added Suresh.

 

  

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