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High Court of Karnataka directed State government for prescribed size for closed and open areas for gatherings.

In a recent case of Karnataka High Court, Series of PILs were filed related to the issues cropped up due to implementation of lockdown and unlock processes to prevent the spread of CIVID-19. The Bench of the court prima facie found the merit in the argument made on behalf of some of the petitioners allowing gatherings of 200 persons in closed spaces and 500 people in the open areas is meaningless without specifying the minimum size of the areas in which such large gatherings can be held. It was kept in mind that allowing a gathering of 200 to 500 people in small areas could lead to quick spread of COVID-19.

The petitioners submitted that the state government is dilly-dallying with the guidelines on account of pressure from various groups, where the bench directed the government to submit the notifications in which guidelines related to cinema halls and gymnasiums were relaxed.

Thus, considering this situation, the High Court held that the State government must immediately step in to modify its recent COVID-19 guidelines, which allows gathering of 200 persons in closed spaces and 500 people in open areas by prescribing the minimum size of the closed and open areas.

With this, the court also directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagra Palike (BBMP) to conduct surprise inspection of various establishments including residential apartment complexes to ensure that guidelines like prohibition of use of swimming pools and party halls are being adhered to.

As the government has re-issued the guidelines for the earmarking beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients as was done in June last year, the bench directed the government to enforce the court’s earlier directions to ensure transparency in providing information on bed availability, display rates for treatment of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals.

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