Bengaluru | Jagran News Desk: The BS Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government on Friday ruled out the possibility of imposing another lockdown in Karnataka amid a fresh spike in coronavirus cases across the state but issued fresh guidelines, asking people to strictly follow the necessary COVID-19 norms.

As per the guidelines, all schools -- both private and government -- will remain closed for classes 6 to 9 till further notice. It said that students of classes 10, 11 and 12 can attend offline classes but attendance will not be mandatory.

The state government also said that gyms and swimming pools will stay closed and imposed a ban on gatherings and all kinds of dharnas. It said that cinema halls can operate with a maximum 50 per cent seating capacity.

The Karnataka government also said that number of people in public transport should not exceed the seating capacity, adding that the practice of work from home should be encouraged.

The guidelines said that appropriate COVID behaviour -- like the use of masks and social distancing -- should be followed especially in shopping malls, departmental stores and closed markets.

"If there is any violation in pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, the facility shall be closed till the COVID epidemic is over," the Karnataka government guidelines warned.

Karnataka has been reporting a spike in coronavirus cases over the last few days. On Friday, the state reported nearly 5,000 fresh coronavirus cases, taking Karnataka's overall caseload to 10.06 lakh. During the same period, six fresh COVID facilities were reported, taking the total death toll to 12,591.

The Karnataka government has also increased the pace of vaccination in the state and urged people to get inoculated as soon as possible.

"The vaccination drive gathered momentum in the third phase as citizens above 45 years of age also received their first shot in state-run and private hospitals in cities and towns across the state on Thursday," news agency IANS quoted a state health official as saying.

"Cumulatively, 38,50,572 people have been vaccinated across the state since the drive was launched on January 16 and stepped up on March 1 when senior citizens above 60 years and those with comorbidities in the 45-59 age bracket were also given the jab," the official added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma