Bangalore Lockdown News: Covid-19 curbs eased, traders and people hopeful | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: With the government permitting swimming pools to function and schools to reopen for students of classes 1 to 5, for the first time in oneand-a-half years, all sectors have been freed from Covid-19 restrictions, bringing social life back to pre-Covid days.
Nearly half the eligible population in the state has been fully vaccinated (both doses) and with health experts allaying fears of a severe third wave of the pandemic, people are hoping for a return to life as they knew it.
“Although it was aimed at our well-being, restrictions over the past 18 months suffocated us,” said Nitin, a second PU student. “Now that all curbs have been removed, we feel as if we have got a new lease of life.”
The state government on Monday announced the reopening of primary sections in schools and allowed use of swimming pools, the last frontier of restrictions. While night curfew continues to be in place between 10pm and 5am, it is not being implemented seriously and people do not feel cooped in by the safety measure.
All social and economic activities have returned to pre-Covid days with people thronging cinema halls, malls, and other public places without fear. Tourist places are registering record footfalls and the hospitality industry is seeing an uptick in business.
One practice that has remained in the post-pandemic situation is the work from home culture as most private companies continue to favour the arrangement. “This is the only activity which is unlikely to return to pre-Covid days not because these restrictions are necessary, but because employers are finding it far economical,” said an employee of an IT firm.
Covid-19 restrictions were first imposed on March 22 last year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a one-day Janata Curfew across the country. It was followed by a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 25 to April 14, which was later extended till May 2.
Since then, Covid restrictions have been lifted and reimposed, crippling normal life. The state saw a second total lockdown in April and May this year, induced by the deadly second wave of infections.
While the first lockdown did cause immense restlessness and losses for the business community, it was largely written off as an experience – the mild nature of the first wave was also a reason.
However, the second wave was a different story. The ferocity not only caused fear, but also exacted a heavy toll. The daily death toll crossed the 400 mark and daily caseload touched as high as 60,000 in May 2021.

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Sagar Biswas

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