New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced the imposition of night curfew across the state from December 24 to January 2 amid concerns over the new COVID-19 strain. The restrictions will be imposed from 11 pm to 5 am, the CMO said in a statement, as reported by news agency ANI. The night curfew was earlier intended to be enforced from December 23 itself. 

There shall be no restrictions on the movement of long-distance buses, trains, and air services during the night curfew. The celebration of Christmas festivities will be as per the guidelines issued in the December 17 order. 

Addressing media earlier today, state's Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the night curfew has been imposed to prevent the spread of the new strain of virus found in the United Kingdom. Karnataka is the second state after Maharashtra to impose night curfew amid concerns over the newest COVID mutation. 

"This night curfew has been imposed to prevent and contain the coronavirus strain found in the UK. We are also monitoring international passengers arriving in the state," Sudhakar told media. On being asked if the Christmas celebrations would be allowed on December 25, Sudhakar said, "Between December 23 and January 2, no function or festive celebration is allowed to take place after 10 pm. It applies to every kind of functions." 

One of the passengers who returned to Karnataka from the United Kingdom had tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. Following the development, Yediyurappa had said the government had no plans to impose night curfew. 

The new strain, detected mainly in London and the southeast of England in recent weeks, has sparked concern worldwide because of signs that it may spread more easily. While there is no indication it causes more serious illness, numerous countries in Europe and beyond, including India have restricted travel from the UK as a result. An SOP issued by the Health Ministry for epidemiological surveillance describes the activities that would be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all flyers who have travelled from or transited through the UK from November 25 to December 23.

Posted By: Lakshay Raja