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Karnataka allows more businesses to reopen from Friday

Bengaluru, April 23 (IANS) Easing relaxation of extended lockdown further, Karnataka decided to allow more businesses to reopen from Friday in green zones to spur economic activity, a top official said on Thursday.

“In accordance with the central government’s guidelines on relaxing lockdown gradually, we have decided to allow more businesses to reopen in green zones from Friday for the benefit of all,” Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar said in a statement here.

Partial relaxation began earlier in the day across the southern state, excluding hotspots and containment areas of coronavirus, as notified on Wednesday.

Mobile re-charge outlets, shops selling stationery, and textbooks, and electrical goods like fans are permitted to resume business.

“Fresh fruit juices outlets and ice-cream parlours are also allowed to reopen but only for take aways and not for consumption. All shops have to maintain social or physical distance of customers,” said the notification.

Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), including housing finance companies and micro finance institutions can function with minimum staff.

“Construction activities in urban and rural areas where workers are available on site can be resumed for water supply, sanitation and as also for laying and erection of power transmission lines and laying of electrical optic fiber and cable,” said the notification.

Growers of commodity plantations such as bamboo, coconut, arecanut, cocoa and spices can engage hire local workers for harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing and sale.

However, movement of people from one district to another will not be permitted due to suspension of public transport service like bus and train, said the order.

Of the 30 districts across the state, 13 districts are red zones with 12-101 positive cases, 8 orange with 1-11 cases and 10 districts green zones with zero cases since the virus spread in March.

The partial exit on the 9th day has led to the re-opening of hotels for parcel service, trading at the agriculture produce marketing committee (APMC) yards, online delivery of essential goods, essential services like couriers, production of cement, steel, tiles and bricks and roadside eateries.

“Lockdown continues to be strictly enforced in Covid hotspots and containment zones with additional deployment of police personnel and enhanced vigil,” said the official.

The partial relaxation has also enabled industrial units, micro, small and medium enterprises to resume operations.

Manufacturing of essential goods like drugs, pharma products, medical devices and raw materials and intermediaries, food processing industries in rural areas and packaging materials has also been allowed.

–IANS

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