Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday, July 18, announced further relaxations in lockdown rules for the entire state with COVID-19 situation gradually improving. The new relaxations include opening of cinema halls and theaters at 50% capacity, following COVID-appropriate behaviour. Colleges, both undergraduate and postgraduate institutions, will be allowed to open from July 26. Students and staff will be allowed to come to the colleges for physical classes only if they have received at least one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. Attending physical classes will continue to be optional. The government has also relaxed the night curfew in the state by an hour, and now the night curfew will be in place from 10 pm to 5 am. This relaxations will come into force from July 19.
These decisions came after a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister along with top ministers and bureaucrats. An official order announcing these decisions and the details of the same is yet to be issued. It may be recalled that the state had gone for full lockdown starting April 28.
Meanwhile, in preparation for a possible third wave, the government on Friday had announced that it will train doctors and paramedics across the state. "The state health department will conduct training sessions for doctors and paramedical staff in district hospitals across the state for preparing them to fight the pandemic's possible third wave," Health MInister Dr Sudhakar K had told reporters.
Noting that specialist doctors would conduct the training, Sudhakar said videos will be used to prepare other healthcare workers and frontline warriors in the war against the virus. "Measures are being taken as recommended by the expert committee headed by noted cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty to minimise the impact of the third wave on people," he added.
The state government hired about 4,000 doctors and ramped up the healthcare infrastructure during the pandemic's second wave to contain the virus.
"As our state shares borders with Kerala and Maharashtra, where positive cases continue to remain high, safety measures have been taken to prevent the infection from spreading in the districts," Sudhakar said.
(With IANS inputs)