The Karnataka government has banned the installation of Ganesha pandals in public place as well as the immersion of idols in public water bodies in fresh guidelines issued for the celebration of Ganesha Chaturthi next week.
No public processions are allowed while buying and installing private Ganesha idols or while immersing the idols in wells, said the government order issued on Friday.
"People are requested to worship either in their homes or in temples in a simple way. Those who worship clay idols in their homes must immerse them in their own homes," said the order issued by Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar.
The state typically sees many organisations and resident groups installing pandals at road corners, grounds and gullies to worship idols of the god and celebrate the festival for periods spanning three to 10 days. Idols are immersed in public tanks, lakes and rivers -- often special arrangements are made in Bengaluru's lakes to facilitate this. This year, in view of the spread of coronavirus, all these public celebrations are banned.
Temples where the god is worshipped must sanitise their premises each day. Devotees must be allowed entry with masks only while maintaining social distance. Thermal screening and sanitising at entry points are also mandatory.
Action would be taken under the Disaster Management Act against those violating these rules.
With no drop in coronavirus cases over the last month, the government now plans to ramp up testing yet again. The cost of testing in private labs has been brought down while serological surveys will be taken up across the state. An additional 18 lakh testing kits for RT-PCR tests and 20 lakh antigen tests are being bought.
Plasma therapy will be taken up as part of treatment protocols in all districts in a bid to bring down fatality rates.