Bengaluru: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, the BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government has banned large gatherings at public functions and wedding ceremonies across the state. As per the earlier guideline, over 500 people were allowed to attend social events including weddings and 100 for other congregations in closed spaces while maintaining social distancing protocols.

The state health secretary, Jawaid Akhtar on Friday (March 12) announced that the gathering of people at such events will now be restricted to 200 from 500. 

“Only 50 people will be allowed at birthday parties in closed space or death ceremonies like cremations or burials. If they are held in open spaces, 100 people can be allowed with social distancing and wearing masks,” read the circular.

The state health secretary’s circular comes a day after the state reported two more cases with South African strain in Ballari city. Both the individuals who tested positive of the South African strain came from Dubai last week. 

The officials disclosed that both the individuals are undergoing treatment in the COVID-19 facility in the state after they developed symptoms.  

The first COVID-19 positive case with South Africa strain in the state was found in Shivamogga on March 10.

Additionally, the Karnataka government on Wednesday had banned all late-night parties at star hotels and restaurants across the state to curb the Coronavirus surge. 

“All star hotels and restaurants across the state have been directed to stop late-night parties from Thursday to prevent them from turning into super-spreaders of the pandemic,” state health minister K. Sudhakar said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka reported 833 new COVID-19 cases and five fatalities in the last 24 hours. The total tally of COVID-19 caseload stands at 9.58 lakh and death toll at 12,386. Bengaluru accounts for 526 infections, the Health department said in a bulletin.

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