Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the State Government is looking at options other than imposing a ‘night curfew’ ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar concurred that curfew may not be necessary, but questioned the need for any celebrations.
Speaking to reporters in Udupi, Bommai said, “The draft advisory, prepared by the Health Department based on recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), suggested a night curfew, but we may not opt for it. However, Covid-19 guidelines should be followed during the New Year celebrations,” he said.
“Revellers should ensure that no crowds gather. The Health Minister will come up with the guidelines to be followed during the celebrations in the coming days,” he said.
On his part, Dr Sudhakar said that enforcement measures will be discussed with experts.
“Social distancing will be difficult to maintain as people will congregate in small spaces. We do not know experts’ opinion on the second wave in January. Considering all issues, we will discuss what steps can be implemented across the state during Christmas and New Year,” he said.
Sudhakar questions need for celebration
“While some restrictions are needed, enforcing curfew does not seem necessary. However, all the matters will be decided only after holding a meeting with experts and the Chief Minister,” Dr K Sudhakar said.
Stressing on the complicated economic situation in the country and loss of jobs, he asked if there is a need to celebrate in the backdrop of Covid. He even went on to say that Ugadi is the new year as per the Hindu calendar.
A decision on the precautionary measures for controlling the spread of Covid, in the backdrop of a report of a possible second wave in the state, will be taken after a meeting with experts and senior officials on Friday.
Sudhakar said experts’ opinion that mask, social distancing and hygiene, which are referred to as “social vaccine,” are more effective.
Regarding salary dues of resident doctors who have been deployed on mandatory service, he said the delay is due to technical reasons, and assured that salaries will be released within a week.
Until then, the administrative bodies of the colleges have been instructed to pay the doctors.
The principal secretaries of the departments have discussed the matter with the department of finance, he added.
The minister said that several rounds of discussions have been held on storage and distribution of vaccines.