October 5, 2021 6:11:31 pm
In a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the Mysuru Dasara festivities, the Karnataka government has decided to allow a maximum of 500 people to attend the Jumbo Savari (elephant procession) and cultural programmes that will be held at the Amba Vilas Palace.
According to an order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravikumar, all participants including government officials will be asked to possess a negative RT-PCR report to be allowed at the venues.
“All officers, staff members from various departments, artists, security and media personnel should possess an RT-PCR Covid negative certificate from a test done after October 4. They should also have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and shall furnish the proof of the same,” the order read.
The order stressed that “strict compliance with the guidelines” was necessary to “prevent the spread of Covid-19” and it also mentioned that all events that cannot be held with proper social distancing shall remain cancelled.
While the Jumbo Savari is scheduled to be held on October 15, cultural programmes are lined up to be held in the palace premises daily from October 7 to 15. The state’s flagship festival will be inaugurated by veteran politician and former Congress chief minister S M Krishna in a special event atop the Chamundi Hills on October 7, for which the attendance has been restricted to 400.
While the order issued initially permitted only 100 to attend the inaugural ceremony, Tushar Girinath, Principal Secretary of the revenue department (disaster management) said the order was modified later to increase the number to 400.
Earlier last week, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said that the government had sought advice from the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on whether it can allow 500 persons to watch the daily cultural events.
Sudhakar had expressed confidence in arranging seats at a distance of 3.5 metres from each other for the events. “It is possible for us to organise the events with this seating arrangement and by ensuring compliance with all SOPs (standard operating procedures) for social distancing,” he said.
However, even as the festivities are not held in full grandeur for the second consecutive year, all events will be live-streamed. “All events including the inauguration, Jumbo Savari, cultural events, and the Vijayadashami procession will be live-streamed. Arrangements have been made to use social media platforms to telecast the events on a real-time basis,” S T Somashekar, the minister in-charge of Mysuru, said.
As per data released by the state Covid war room, Mysuru has 584 active Covid-19 cases as on October 4, with 394 being confirmed in the last seven days.
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