Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an extension of the nation-wide lockdown till May 3 in the battle against Coronavirus, villagers in Karnataka's Kalaburagi district flouted lockdown norms extensively as they gathered to celebrate Siddhalingeswara Chariot Festival. Hundreds of people gathered in the Ravoor village on Thursday and participated in the local temple festival by performing rituals which include pulling a chariot.
This comes even as Kalaburagi has been recognized as a Coronavirus hotspot in Karnataka. So far, the district has also witnessed three deaths. Meanwhile, 315 positive cases have been reported in the state and 82 have recovered from the infection. The overall death tally in the state has reached 13.
According to reports, a case has been registered against the temple management and those who gathered for the celebration under Sections 188, 143, 269 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It has also been reported that the temple committee was asked not to hold the festival and that the police are investigating whether it was the temple committee that performed the ritual of carrying the chariot or others who decided to go ahead with the procession. Despite being denied permission to celebrate, people carried out the procession at 6 am on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa failed to follow by social distancing norms when he inaugurated a 'Health Testing Kiosk' at an event. While inaugurating the mobile booth on Thursday, Yediyurappa was seen surrounded by several people at close proximity in the event that took place in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru is set to have such mobile booths in each ward of the capital city and will be used to collect throat swab samples of people suspected of COVID-19. Similarly, Kerala has also announced the deployment of walk-in sample collection kiosk to test Coronavirus suspects. Based on the kiosk model used in South Korea, the kiosks in Kerala do not require healthcare workers to wear protective gear.
(with inputs from ANI)