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14-day lockdown in Karnataka begins today; schools, colleges, cinemas to remain shut till May 12

14-day lockdown in Karnataka begins today; schools, colleges, cinemas to remain shut till May 12

According to the order, all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and congregations are prohibited and religious places will remain closed for public

Metro Rail, taxi and bus services will not be operated, while schools and colleges, hotels, cinemas, shopping malls, stadia and swimming pools will remain closed in Karnataka during the 14-day lockdown starting from Tuesday morning to May 12 morning to contain the surging COVID-19.

Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar in his order said, "guidelines to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission in the state, which shall come into effect from 9 pm on April 27 and will be in force including and up to 6 am of May 12. According to the order, all social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other gatherings and congregation are prohibited and religious places will remain closed for public."

"However, all personnel engaged in the service of the place of worship shall continue to perform their rituals and duties without involving any visitors," the order said. Flights and trains scheduled will continue to operate during the lockdown and the tickets will act as a pass for movement of persons by taxis, cab aggregators and autorickshaws to board flight and trains.

"No movement of public or private buses or passenger vehicles except as permitted under these guidelines (will be prohibited)," the order said. Hotels, restaurants and hospitality services can only act as takeaway and home delivery.

Though swimming pools will remain shut, only those swimming pools approved by the Swimming Federation of India will be opened for sports persons for training purposes only, it said. Karnataka government offices and departments dealing with health, municipal administration, district administration, medical education, police, civil defence, defence, fire and emergency services, water, electricity and sanitation will operate.

The offices functioning under the government of India such as defence, defence PSUs, armed police forces, public utilities, such as petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG, power generation and disaster management will also function. Reserve Bank of India, banks, RBI regulated financial markets, and microfinance institutions with bare minimum staff can operate.

The Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme will be allowed and so will be the operations of homes for children, disabled, mentally challenged, senior citizens, destitutes and women. There will be no restrictions on agriculture activities, supply chain of essential goods, its manufacturing wholesale, retail, large brick and mortar stores or e-commerce companies shall be allowed to operate.

Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish and animal fodder will be allowed to function from 6 am to 10 am. "All industries, industrial establishments and production units other except related to garment manufacturing are permitted to operate adhering to COVID appropriate behaviour," the order said.

It added that construction activities and repair work would be permitted. Marriages should not have more than 50 persons while cremation or funeral should not have more than five persons.

The order said everyone should follow the COVID appropriate behaviour such as facemasks, hand sanitisers and social distancing everywhere.

Also read: Karnataka to provide COVID-19 vaccines for free to 18-44 age group