Bengaluru, Dec 22 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Tuesday that there is no proposal before the government to impose night curfew in the state.
Speaking to reporters here, Yediyurappa said that a new strain of coronavirus has been detected in Chennai from a traveller who came from the United Kingdom.
"We have to be extra cautious. Whoever comes from outside will be checked at the airports itself. With a new strain of coronavirus detected in Chennai, the Karnataka government mandated 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in the state from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands," he said.
He added that this new coronavirus variant is something that has worried the people of the state and the country after it transpired that a person who arrived in Chennai from the UK has been found to be infected with it.
The Chief Minister added that all the necessary precautions have been taken and the government is watchful about controlling the spread of the virus in Karnataka.
"There is no need for night curfew here for now," he said in response to a question about whether Karnataka will emulate Maharashtra by imposing night curfew.
He added that Karnataka has taken precautions and restrictions are already in place for New Year celebrations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CM said that the state government had taken steps to enhance passenger screening at the international airports and seaports after the new strain of virus was traced in the UK.
However, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar, while speaking to reporters separately, said that he will discuss with the Chief Minister regarding imposing night curfew in the state, but ruled out the possibility of a lockdown.
"I held discussions with the Secretary, Union Health Ministry, who said that there was no reason to worry, but necessary precautionary measures should be taken," he said.
The minister further noted that night curfew may be imposed after examining the situation, as is being done in other states.
"I will meet the Chief Minister and discuss with him about night curfew," he said.
The minister added that the government has sought information on the list of passengers arriving from the UK to Bengaluru and Mangaluru international airports since December 7.
Noting that so far no one who had come in the last 14 days and had undergone RT-PCR tests had tested positive, Sudhakar said that irrespective of the test results, those who have come from the UK will have to undergo 14-day quarantine. "Those who test positive will have to be quarantined in government facilities while those who test negative will have to undergo home quarantine," he said.
He added that in case anyone tests positive, the state has asked NIMHANS to study the virus through genetic sequencing and provide a comprehensive report.
He said the contacts and addresses of the 138 people who had come to the state from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands without any negative reports have been gathered on Monday night, and they will be made to undergo tests and will be monitored.
The minister also warned hotels and party halls of strict action if they allow mass gatherings for Christmas and New Year.