Karnataka Govt Makes Mask Mandatory in Public Places With Immediate Effect as Covid Cases Surge

Amid a rapid spike in cases of coronavirus across Karnataka, the state government has made it mandatory for the public to wear masks with immediate effect.

The order which was issued on Friday by the health commissioner mandated the wearing of masks in all public places, buses, private vehicles travelers, malls, educational institutions. It further mentioned that restaurants, pubs, hotels, hostels, offices(Pvt, public) factories staff should also wear masks compulsorily.

The order also authorized the health department to take necessary action to implement the rules with the help of Marshals and Police

Earlier the Bengaluru civic agency had made masks compulsory in public places and decided to increase the tests for the virus from the existing 16,000 a day to 20,000 a day.

Every day, more than 200 new Covid cases are being reported and we are conducting 16,000 tests. Now, Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath has asked us to increase the tests to 20,000 from 16,000 by the BBMP and 4,000 at the private labs. We will strengthen the information, education, and communication activities, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike special commissioner Dr. Harish Kumar told reporters on Monday.

He said the Chief Commissioner has directed all the Marshals to educate people on wearing masks. They are ensuring masks in public places, including malls. From today, we will ask people through Marshals to wear masks in public places, Kumar added.

Since many cases of severe acute respiratory illness and influenza-like illness are coming in private clinics, the chief commissioner has asked BBMP officials to survey each zone and submit a report, the officer said. He, however, appealed to the people not to panic.

Karnataka breached the 400 mark in daily Covid cases on Thursday as the state logged 471 fresh infections, taking the number of total active cases to 2,880, of which 2,776 are in Bengaluru. Bengaluru registered 458 cases.

While the positivity rate for the day was 2.14 per cent, it was 2.06 per cent in the past one week. The health department said that it conducted 21,927 tests. The growth rate of Covid infection in the past 24 hours was 20.17 per cent.

(With input from agencies)

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