On a day when the number of COVID-19 cases in Karnataka crossed one lakh, the Bengaluru civic agency, BBMP, has come out with a notification ahead of festivals due this year.
The notice from BBMP Commissioner Manjunatha Prasad said coronavirus is spreading "very rapidly" in Karnataka and especially in Bengaluru.
"The festival season is starting with Varamahalakshmi on July 31, followed by Bakrid, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, Gowri Ganesha... and then Onam. This festival season is the most risky time for the spread of Coronavirus. Therefore, please strictly follow rules in order to stay safe because we are in a very dangerous situation," BBMP Commissioner Manjunatha Prasad said in an order.
Here are some points from the BBMP guidelines:
- Please do not visit temples, mosques and other places of worship even if they are officially declared open.
- Please do not visit your relatives, friends and neighbours for any reason. Please restrict your celebrations to small pujas at your own home with only homemade sweets and no outside food and no people visiting.
- In case of Gowri Ganesha festival, please do not buy idols or take part in any community Visarjan activities. Outside idols already have contamination risk, and any Visarjan activities will be a big source of coronavirus spread due to crowding of people and because virus spreads very easily in water.
- In case of Raksha Bandhan, if brothers and sisters do not live in the same house, then please do not visit each other for tying rakhi.
- In case of Varamahalakshmi Vratha, Janmashtami and Onam, please only perform small pujas in your own homes with only homemade food for prasadams. Please do not visit any temples or each other's homes.
- Waqf board will also give details. We request that celebrations are kept to a minimum and that all community events are avoided as much as possible.
The notice also reminds the public to wear masks at all times whenever people go outside their homes. Gloves are also recommended. The notice asks people to report those with coronavirus symptoms like breathing difficulty, fever, cough or cold to the Karnataka government Apthamitra helpline 14410 so that they can be tested and put in quarantine immediately.