The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced a night curfew in the state from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. till January 2 amid the new mutant strain of coronavirus.

Karnataka has become the second state after Maharashtra to announce restrictions as global concern grows over the new mutant strain of the contagious Covid-19 virus which was first found in the UK.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa said, “In view of the new strain of coronavirus, it has been decided to impose night curfew from today to January 2 between 10 PM to 6 AM. I request everyone to cooperate.”

The state government has announced that all the passengers coming from the UK will have to undergo Covid-19 RT-PCR tests within 72 hours.

Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “This (night curfew) has been done to prevent and contain the coronavirus strain found in the UK. We are also monitoring international passengers arriving in the state.”

He further added that there is ‘no ban on inter-state travel’ and schools will reopen for classes 10 and 12  students from January 1.

When asked if Christmas celebration would be allowed health minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “Between December 23 and January 2, no event or festive celebration is allowed to take place after 10 pm. It applies to every kind of event.”

On Monday, the Maharashtra government had announced a night curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. till January 5 in Mumbai and other cities. Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state in the country by the Covid-19 pandemic has 19,02,458 cases followed by Karnataka which has 9,11,382 cases till now.

On Tuesday, Dr VK Paul, a member of government think-tank NITI Aayog said, “The new strain or mutation of coronavirus in the United Kingdom has not been seen in India, so far. As of now, it has no impact on the potential of vaccines being developed in our country and are available in other countries.”

“We can say that the virus has become super-spreader,” he added further.

India has announced a temporary travel ban to the UK and is among the countries that have announced a similar ban.

India recorded 23,950 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and the country’s total cases now stand at 1,00,99,066.