Bengaluru: In furthering relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown norms to revive the state's economy, the Karnataka government on Friday allowed rural industries to start its operations in nine coronavirus-free districts.

"Industries operating in rural areas i.e. outside the limits of district headquarters of COVID-19 unaffected districts (excluding Ramanagara district), Yadgir, Koppal, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Kolar, Chamarajanagar, Raichur, Haveri and Hassan have been allowed to operate," chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar said. This was stated in an addendum to his Wednesday order announcing partial exit from lockdown.

Ramanagara had remained a green zone with no COVID-19 cases until five people, among those arrested for the violence let loose on health workers at Padarayanapura in Bengaluru last week, lodged in the district jail tested positive last night.

Partial relaxation of lockdown had come into effect in Karnataka since Thursday. On Wednesday, the government had announced that IT and IT enabled services have been allowed to operate with essential minimum staff and also certain construction activities, manufacturing of packaging materials, courier services, among others were given relaxation.

Activities that have already been permitted include - construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings and all kinds of industrial projects, including MSMEs, in rural areas and all kinds of projects in industrial estates, where workers are available on site and no one is required to be brought in from outside.