Karnataka CM Bommai rules out reconsidering fresh Covid-19 curbs

Pramesh S Jain & Yogesh K Porwar

With New Year around the corner new guidelines have been issued to prevent the spread of Omicron, the new variant of Covid, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.

Speaking to media persons at Mysuru Airport he said, presently the situation is under control. Though precautions are in place to prevent the spread, night curfew has been introduced from 10pm to 5am as a precautionary measure.

Replying to a question whether the government is contemplating to revise the Covid control measures, the Chief Minister said that there are no such plans.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday ruled out reconsidering the government’s decision to impose night curfew and curbs on New Year celebrations in the State in the wake of fresh COVID-19 concerns.

Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry and hotel and pub owners have requested the government to reconsider its decision.

“There is no question of reconsideration. Last week when we held a meeting in Belagavi and imposed certain restrictions, I said that after observing Omicron and COVID-19 situation we may take certain measures, and accordingly we have imposed some minor restrictions,” Bommai said in response to a question.

He conceded that night curfew may cause some amount of inconvenience.

But,as we have already informed about banning parties outdoors,especially for those celebrating with DJs and large gatherings, it may not cause trouble,he added.

The Karnataka government on Sunday decided to impose night curfew for 10 days from December 28 between 10 PM and 5 AM.

The government banned all New Year parties and gatherings in public places; while places like eateries, hotels, pubs, clubs and restaurants have been asked to operate with 50 per cent of their seating capacity from December 30 to January 2.

Responding to a question on the Omicron situation, Bommai said, “I have held a meeting in this regard. As of now, the number is not big, but keeping in mind the increase in the cases in our neighbouring States and other countries we have taken certain precautionary measures like night curfew and restriction on New Year celebrations or gatherings at public places.”

Owners of hotels and pubs have requested the government to reconsider its decision, citing New Year as the major business season.

President of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry I S Prasad told reporters the guideline of 50 per cent capacity would affect the hotel and hospitality industry.

He requested the Chief Minister to allow the hotel and hospitality industry to function with full capacity by strictly following COVID protocols, as the industry has suffered a huge loss during the last two years.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Siddaramaiah said the opposition has no objection to the government taking precautionary measures in the wake of increase in COVID and Omicron variant-related cases, and to maintain law and order.