Unlocking process in 5 phases likely in Karnataka; shopping hours to be extended initially

News Network
June 9, 2021

Bengaluru, June 9: Hinting at the possibility of an unlocking process in Karnataka from next week, Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday said that the state government is considering initiating the easing of curbs in four to five different phases.

To begin with, the government is considering the extension of existing shopping hours to 12 noon. Besides, it is also considering allowing people to visit parks for exercising.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of inaugurating a workshop organised by the BBMP for paediatricians at the Nimhans Convention Centre, Revenue minister R Ashoka said, "The government is considering unlock in 4 to 5 phases keeping in mind the daily caseload. But everything will not be thrown open at one go as it may further shoot up the Covid caseload. CM Yediyurappa will decide on this graded and phased unlock process."

Pointing at Bengaluru's Covid-19 figures, Ashoka further said, "Bengaluru is currently reporting about 2,000 cases. If we want to have a normal life, the caseload must come down to 500 per day. We will also be analysing what will be the positivity rate once unlock process sets in."

When asked about the relaxations that the state government is considering, R Ashoka said, "Initially we are thinking of extending the existing shopping hours which is currently from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. This may be extended up to 12 noon. Similarly, people may be allowed to visit parks for the morning, evening walk or jogging."

The minister clarified that no new industries (other than those that are currently allowed to function) will be allowed to resume operations for the time being.

Karnataka had extended its Covid-19 lockdown till June 14 and speculations are that steps will be taken for a graded unlocking, as was also suggested by the state's technical advisory committee.

The state, which until a few days ago was reporting a high number of daily infections and deaths, has seen a decline over the past few days. 

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News Network
June 8,2021

New Delhi, June 8: After two particularly gruelling months, India finally saw its daily infections fall below the 1-lakh mark on Tuesday.

The country recorded 86,498 new infections as 2,123 individuals passed away due to the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

India's recovery rate stood at 94.29 per cent while active cases were 13,03,702, falling by nearly 1 lakh from Monday. Since Monday, several states relaxed curbs and allowed a gradual unlocking of public services after a steady decline in cases even as some states extended lockdown-like restrictions. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a key announcement, on Monday declared free coronavirus vaccines to states and union territories for inoculation of all above 18 from June 21.

In an address to the nation, Modi also announced that the Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers, including 25 per cent of the state quota, and give it for free to state governments, while private sector hospitals can continue to procure the remaining 25 per cent but cannot charge more than Rs 150 per dose over the pre-fixed price.

As India's Covid-19 cases see a dip and vaccinations pick up pace albeit in a lopsided mannerm worries over the real situation in rural areas, where access to healthcare facilities and actual testing rates and severity of infections remains unknown, prevail.

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News Network
June 9,2021

Bengaluru, June 9: The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed by the State government has recommended a gradual unlocking of activities across Karnataka, as the Covid-battered state gets ready to take small steps towards normalcy after June 14, when the lockdown is scheduled to end.

The committee — which submitted its recommendations to the government on the unlock process on Monday — suggested the chief minister allow shops, malls, hotels to open for four hours initially. But it recommended against opening up places of worship, swimming pools and others till the end of June.

Members also suggested restricting movement of people from high-risk districts to low-risk ones and a ban on elections that involve organising rallies for the entire year. Cautioning against allowing all activities at once, the committee recommended opening up activities on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

The chief minister is expected to discuss these recommendations with his Cabinet colleagues in a day or two.

According to the committee’s report, “Markets shall initially be open for four hours and gradually increased to 10 hours per day.”

The same recommendation has been made for neighbourhood shops, malls and shopping streets. The committee listed activities within a closed environment as a high-risk category and recommended only 50 per cent occupancy in places like pubs, bars and restaurants and closed market areas.

Referring to public gatherings like marriage and functions, the TAC said, “The ceremonies will have only 100 to 200 people maximum with passes till December 2021. A distance of 3.25 sq mtrs has to be maintained between two persons.”

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News Network
June 12,2021

Riyadh, June 12: Saudi Arabia said it will limit registration for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to citizens and residents of the Kingdom in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministries of health and Hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year.

It stressed that those wishing to perform Hajj must be free of any chronic diseases, and to be within the ages from 18 to 65 years for those vaccinated against the virus according to the kingdom’s vaccination measures.  

Hajj pilgrims should be fully vaccinated, or those who took one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before, or those who are vaccinated after recovering from coronavirus infection.

The decision is “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the ministry said. “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first.”

The hajj begins mid-July. 

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