Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday said it was necessary to take extra precautions during the upcoming festive season, amid COVID-19 pandemic. The Chief Minister held a meeting with Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar and other senior officials of the state government to discuss the precautions that need to be undertaken to check the spread of COVID-19, during the Mysuru Dasara.
"It was necessary to take extra precautions during the upcoming festive season amid COVID-19 pandemic. A meeting was held with the Medical Education Minister, Chief Secretary and senior officials regarding the precautions that need to be undertaken to control the spread of COVID-19 specially during the Mysuru Dasara," Yediyurappa tweeted.
With COVID-19 pandemic casting a shadow, the government has decided to organise the world famous Dasara celebrations in the palace city of Mysuru in a "simple" way. Celebrated as "Naada Habba" (state festival), the 10-day event every year showcases Karnataka's cultural heritage resplendent with folk art forms and attracts large crowds and tourists.
This year Dasara festivities are likely between October 17-26, the last day being Vijayadashami. Recently, COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has given some recommendations for conducting Dasara 2020 in Mysuru during the pandemic, for continuation of tradition and cultural activities and simultaneously ensuring that the events are COVID-19 safe.
The recommendations, include Mysuru Dasara inaugural on October 17 being strictly limited to 200 people, cultural programmes in the evening for 8 days shall be limited to 2 hours per day by local artists only not exceeding 50 people, police personnel at strategic places shall prevent crowding and check wearing of facemasks by all. Only 300 people shall be allowed for the world renowned Jamboo Savari (procession of caparisoned elephants) with all COVID precautions.
The government has already said that 'Jamboo savari' on the last day - "Vijayadashami", that marks the end of ten daylong Dasara festivity in Mysuru will be restricted to palace premises. The event usually attracts large crowds, as it is the most awaited one.
The other recommendations include to make Dasara 2020 celebrations virtual for the public, RT-PCR negative test report (done after 14th October 2020) shall be mandatory for all those attending the events, artists and other performers shall be local artists preferably from Mysuru and other districts of Karnataka only. Also adherence to COVID-19 precautions like compulsory facemasks, physical distancing, provision of hand sanitizers, hand washing facility with soap and water, and appropriate places to ensure physical distancing.