Covid-19: Tourism stakeholders oppose weekend curfew in Mysuru

They want the weekend curfew to be confined to Bengaluru where Covid-19 cases are on the rise

The Karnataka Government’s move to impose weekend curfew for the next two weekends following a rise in COVID-19 cases has not gone down well among trades, businesses and the tourism industry in Mysuru as they argue that the curfew should have been confined to Bengaluru instead of across the State based on the case load.

“How correct is it to impose curfew across Karnataka when Covid-19 cases are increasing primarily in Bengaluru,” said B.S. Prashanth, president, Federation of Organisations and Associations of Mysuru.

The lockdowns and curfews in the last two years have put commercial establishments in distress with a drop in business. “We are ready to cooperate if there is a need to impose curfew. If the curfew or lockdown is imposed without a proper reason, then we shall oppose such decisions,” he said.

In a statement, he said everybody has to live with the Covid-19 pandemic as the virus is here to stay. “How to earn a livelihood if every time lockdowns and curfews are imposed? We have seen two waves and learnt how to combat the pandemic. Our healthcare infrastructure needs to be prepared to handle the next wave. The priority should be safety, not lockdowns, which affect the livelihood of the common people,” he argued.

The stakeholders said COVID-19 cases in Mysuru haven’t crossed three digits, and there are not many deaths or incidents of hospitalisation.

“How can the industry survive when tourists are discouraged from visiting Mysuru by way of imposing curfews as a large number of people bank on tourism for their livelihood with the city known for its tourist places,” one of them said.

“Let the government impose a weekend curfew or lockdown in Bengaluru where the cases are rising, but not in places like Mysuru where the cases are under control. The government should reconsider its decision on weekend curfew in the interest of people, and withdraw the restriction,” said a member of the federation.

The Hotel Owners’ Association in Mysuru has opposed weekend curfew and urged the Chief Minister to reconsider the decision.

“Mysuru is a tourist city. Curbs like weekend curfew will destroy the economy, putting the people banking on tourism-based establishments, like hotels and restaurants, in trouble. The moment the government started announcing curbs, tourist flow to Mysuru started to drop, affecting revenue. The hotel industry suffered a lot in the first and second waves, but there was little support from the government,” said Association president C. Narayana Gowda.

From 90% till January 2, hotel occupancy has dropped to 25%. Many hotels have even lesser occupancy amidst the scare, he claimed.

“We continue to oppose weekend curfew. We had hoped that the government would drop the curbs in districts, but it seems to be going ahead with its decision,” Mr. Gowda said.

He suggested that the government impose curbs wherever cases are mounting, like Bengaluru.

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