Not wanting to take a chance with virus resurgence, abundant caution is the theme of latest govt guidelines
Going by the dictum that discretion is the better part of valour, the Karnataka government has preferred to take no chances with a likely resurgence of Covid-19 and has decided to continue with its limited-gathering and social distancing guidelines. The latest guidelines come even as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to decline in the state. Even though the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has in its own guidelines allowed full seating capacity in cinema halls from February 1, Karnataka has decided to tread cautiously and continue with 50% seating in theatres till February 28.
The latest state government circular states that notwithstanding the decline in cases of coronavirus infection, it is advisable not to let one’s guard down and follow all the safety norms. The state’s and the Centre’s guidelines are in tandem in announcing that social and cultural events like marriages, birthday celebrations, death ceremonies, cremations or similar events are to be conducted by maintaining adequate physical distancing.
Guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 in social/religious/sports/entertainment/educational/ cultural gatherings. pic.twitter.com/9qJRGOCBWv— K’taka Health Dept (@DHFWKA) February 2, 2021
For such events in both open and closed areas, the distancing limit is 3.25 sq. metres per person (for example, a 1,000 sq. metre area can have a maximum of 376 persons, while a 500 sq. metre area can have a maximum of 158 persons) for these events. In any circumstance, not more than a maximum of 500 persons shall be allowed at such events.
The Karnataka government circular notes that for offices and workplaces, wherever feasible work from home (WFH) may continue; in the alternative, full attendance is permissible and the shift system should continue.
For industries and commercial establishments, full attendance can continue in shifts, while entry to shops, malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks should continue to be regulated to avoid crowding. Hotels and restaurants should not exceed their seating capacity, and the same condition applies to Bengaluru’s Metro services. Yoga centres and gyms have been advised to rotate timings of members to prevent crowding.