As another cluster emerged in Bengaluru, the State government announced that marshals would be deployed at marriage halls and at events to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Speaking to reporters here on Monday after a videoconference with all district administrations, Minister for Health and Medical Education K. Sudhakar admitted that VVIPs, VIPs were also not following the COVID-19 protocols recommended by the Technical Advisory Committee.
“Even when we attend events, organisers ask us to remove the mask. Protocols are routinely flouted. Marshals will levy fines against all violators. A circular has been issued with regard to their deployment,” he said and remarked that it was “unfortunate” that protocols were violated by leaders and thousands who participated in the Panchamasali rally in the city on Sunday.
Pointing out that lockdown had been imposed in several districts in neighbouring Maharashtra, Dr. Sudhakar said the government may be forced to put in place stringent measures if citizens continued to disregard the protocols.
He said while there was no restriction on inter-State travel, he would soon meet with his counterparts in Kerala and Maharashtra to urge them to issue a circular making it mandatory for travellers from their respective States to have a negative RT-PCR report prior to their travel to Karnataka.
“If there is such a requirement for people from Karnataka travelling to Kerala and Maharashtra, we are ready to cooperate,” he said, while acknowledging the inconvenience caused to travellers into the state owing to the checking at the borders.
Dr. Sudhakar said that the government was taking measures to prevent the outbreak of a second wave in the State. The positivity rate had increased marginally in three districts – Kalaburgi (1.37%), Bengaluru Urban (1.2%), and Dakshina Kannada (1.1%). The positivity rate in other districts in the State was below 1%. District administrations of the three districts had been directed to increase targeted testing for early identification of infected and step up contact tracing.
With regard to school reopening, he said they were being opened in a phased manner and no increase in cases had been reported. He added that the department would review the decision to have full capacity in theatres later this month.