Covid-19: Karnataka to Mark Ganesh Utsav With Conditions; No Immersion Beyond 9pm, Pandals Allowed

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The Karnataka government on Sunday allowed partial celebration of the upcoming Ganesh Utsav in the state, with Covid-19 norms and conditions in place. While no immersion or visarjan of the idol will be allowed post 9pm, pandals have been given an okay.

State government officials had earlier in the day met to decide and discuss Ganesh Utsav celebrations. Ministers R Ashoka, K Sudhakar, H Nagesh had held deliberations on experts’ recommendations on how to hold the festival.

Associations have been permitted Ganesh Utsav festivities for a maximum of five days, and cultural programmes have been completely banned. However, pandals can be erected and the government will be issuing guidelines on how many people can be permitted to participate in the immersion rituals. Not more than one Ganesha Pandal can be erected in each ward.

To curb the rise of Covid-19 cases, the state government has banned public celebration in border taluks where the Test Positivity Rate is found over 2 per cent. Apartment associations can hold public celebrations within the apartment premises, but only 20 people can gather at a time.

With the festive season in India coming up, state governments have been attempting a balancing act to maintain Covid-19 protocol while giving relaxations to people to celebrate. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has also urged people to wear masks, and practice physical distancing ahead of the upcoming festivities, even as the state registers a surge of cases.

India in April and May saw a devastating second wave of Covid-19, which saw record deaths and cases, with people struggling for medical oxygen and basic healthcare facilities. Now, a third wave of Covid-19 is predicted to hit the country anywhere from mid-September to October, and the Union Health Ministry has also warned states and citizens to not stop practicing essential Covid-19 norms during the festive season.

Karnataka had on Saturday reported less than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases with 983 infections and logged 21 deaths, taking the total caseload to 29,54,047 and the toll to 37,401.

The state had on August 30 reported less than 1,000 fresh cases, with 973 that day. Saturday also saw 1,620 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 28,98,874. Out of 983 cases reported on Saturday, 289 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 618 discharges and seven deaths. The active cases in the state stood at 17,746.

While the positivity rate for the day was 0.61 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 2.13 per cent. Dakshina Kannada followed Bengaluru Urban in the fatality count with five deaths, Hassan and Mysuru logged two each, followed by others.

Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 289, Dakshina Kannada 162, Udupi 97, Mysuru 89, Hassan 62, while the rest were scattered in other areas. Bengaluru Urban district topped the list of positive cases, with a total of 12,39,123, followed by Mysuru 1,76,433 and Tumakuru 1,19,411.

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