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Pubs must remain shut: Minister Sudhakar warns

The Karnataka government has ordered pubs to shut down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Department has warned that stringent action would be taken against pubs if they are found violating norms.

“We had issued an order that pubs should be shut and we have come to know that they are operating despite the order. We will take stringent action against them and I have requested the Home Minister to take action as well,” Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said. However, the minister did not clarify whether the order applies to all pubs or only independent ones.

Appealing to residents to avoid large gatherings especially weddings, the Minister said, “Fairs, conferences, religious events should stop. People should not congregate in numbers over 100 – especially in weddings. We have noticed that people are gathering in large numbers for weddings. But we don’t want the infection to spread and we request you to postpone weddings if possible or if not limit guests to 100-150.”

The Karnataka Health Department officials will now monitor those persons who are under home quarantine starting March 20 with the help of beat constables.

“The Cabinet sub-committee has directed the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to ensure that areas surrounding hospitals and areas which draw crowds must be disinfected. The BBMP is training 10,000 personnel to monitor the situation,” he said.

All religious leaders have been asked to issue directions to devotees to not congregate in religious shrines. “There is no malicious intent behind this. This is being done in view of public safety. We are requesting you to follow the orders,” he said.

Theares, malls, night clubs and independent pubs, schools and political gatherings will be shut till March 31. Restaurants are allowed to be open but they must turn off the air conditioning. College students have been given leave till March 31 as well. The Union government has also banned all arrival of international commercial flights in India starting March 22 for a span of one week. The government has also advised all senior citizens or persons aged 65 years and above to stay at home. Children aged 10 years and below have also been advised to remain at home.

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