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K’taka rules out lockdown despite sharp Covid-19 spike, bans protests and rallies for 15 days

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The Karnataka government announced on Monday there will be no lockdown in the state as of now to curb the surge in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) but strict action will be taken against those who don’t follow protocols, according to news agency ANI. It added that no protests and rallies will be allowed for the next 15 days.

Pointing out that the number of Covid-19 cases in apartments has been increasing, the government said no parties or celebrations will be allowed from Monday, ANI reported. The SNN Raj Lake View apartment in Bengaluru saw more than 100 Covid-19 cases in mid-February after a function was organised in the complex’s clubhouse.

Karnataka has so far recorded 987,012 Covid-19 cases and 12,504 deaths, according to the state health department’s bulletin. On Sunday, 3,082 fresh cases were seen, which were the highest since November 5 last year when 3,156 cases were reported. The recoveries from the disease are nearing 952,000 while active cases have climbed to 23,037. Karnataka along with neighbouring Maharashtra, Kerala and other states such as Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh accounted for 84.5 per cent of the new cases that India reported in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Monday.

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The Karnataka government also announced on Monday that schools and colleges will not close at present adding that a suggestion to close schools has been taken into consideration. “It will be reviewed after exams that will finish in 15 days,” the government added.

Schools reopened for Classes 6 to 8 from February 22 with all Covid-related restrictions in place. However, schools for Classes 1 to 5 continue to remain closed. Amid reports that several schools in Karnataka were holding physical classes for students of Classes 1 to 5, state education minister S Suresh Kumar on March 16 called for stringent actions against such institutions. He ordered department officials and superintendents to urgently issue a circular for creating inspection teams and prosecute schools that were found holding offline classes for students till Class 5.