Booking of wedding venues in Karnataka now requires prior approval from the deputy commissioners of the respective districts, whose offices would issue a prescribed number of badges for the issuing persons, depending on whether it is an indoor or outdoor event, the authorities announced on Saturday.
The move comes a day after the state government issued an order to control the spread of COVID-19 on Friday, allowing 200 people to participate in marriages that take place in an open space while the border is 100 in an enclosed space.
The deputy commissioner’s office would issue 100 passports and 200 passes for indoor and outdoor weddings, respectively, said Finance Minister R Ashoka. If more people are there, the wedding hall or the poultry will be closed, he added.
Interior Minister Basavaraj Bommai said this will not apply to wedding halls and poultry already booked and to bookings here on.
“Already booked marriages will continue under the restrictions already in place. As this (COVID) wave is expected to last until the end of May, we have decided to enforce stricter measures for marriages,” he said.
The ministers, accompanied by Health Minister K Sudhakar, also said that a video conference would be held on Monday to discuss the COVID situation in Bengaluru along with all lawmakers and ministers from the city.
They spoke to reporters after a video conference with department heads, deputy commissioners from various districts, SPs and officials from the Ministry of Health, which included Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar.
Ashoka also said that temple masses will not be allowed and if it is held, DC and SPs will be held responsible there.
He asked DCs and SPs to visit temples a month before masses and convince people not to hold them.
Ashoka said the government is now self-arranging beds and is expecting a high of 50 percent in cases requiring hospitalization in the coming days, compared to last time.
DCs have also been asked to recruit data operators as per the requirements, adding that additional funds will be made available to DCs on Monday to help mitigate COVID situations. He asked them to see that the cremation of COVID patients was done respectfully and with no room for complaint.
He claimed that war-based vaccinations and testing should be upgraded to check the effects of a possible third wave.
Noting that every precaution was taken to ensure there was no oxygen starvation, Bommai said companies had been asked to improve production. “We will also get help from commercial oxygen producers.”