With Covid cases on the rise, Section 144(1) imposed in Bengaluru; swimming polls, gyms in apartment complexes closed

The prohibitory order comes days after the Karnataka government issued new guidelines ordering the closure of gyms and swimming pools and a reduction in the seating capacity of pubs, bars and theatres to 50 per cent.

With Covid-19 cases on the rise, the Bengaluru Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144(1) of CrPC in Bengaluru city.

“In the wake of an increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, Section 144(1) CrPC is imposed in city limits from today,” said an order issued by Bengaluru Commissioner Kamal Pant.

Section 144(1) of CrPC empowers the government to direct any person to abstain from a certain act in a bid to “prevent danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of public tranquility”.

Section 144(1) is different from Section 144 which sets restrictions on public gatherings.

Further, the city police commissioner has prohibited operation of swimming pools, gymnasiums and party halls in the apartments and residential complexes.

“Prohibit operation of amenities like Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Party Halls etc in apartment/residential complexes in the limits of Bengaluru City,” reads the order.

The order was issued after 4,266 fresh cases and 26 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

“Prohibitory Orders promulgated in connection with the strict adherence to certain measures by the public as mandated by the Government of Karnataka to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease-2019) infection,” the order issued by the police commissioner said.

In a prohibitory order issued earlier, the Bengaluru police chief had banned holding rallies and protests across the city till April 20.

Bengaluru had 32,605 active cases till Tuesday.

The prohibitory order comes days after the Karnataka government issued new guidelines ordering the closure of gyms and swimming pools and a reduction in the seating capacity of pubs, bars and theatres to 50 per cent. After a request from the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, the state government allowed theatres to function at 100 per cent capacity.

To control the Covid 19 second wave in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) stated marshals and home guards will be appointed to crack down on those violating Covid-19 protocols.

Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said, “Though the penalties will be levied by marshals, home guards will assist them. They will also help in creating awareness on Covid-19.”

Apart from this, the BBMP is now also planning to step up the vaccination drive across Bengaluru. It may set up vaccination sites at apartment complexes with the help of Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs).

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, BBMP Administrator Rakesh Singh said, “We have written to the Union government regarding opening vaccination sites in apartments and various places in the city. We are waiting for the Centre’s permission.”

At present, 35,000 people in the city are being vaccinated on a daily basis, according to BBMP.

BBMP officials said the RWAs across the city will work closely with the BBMP administration to help the civic body increase Covid vaccination coverage.

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