By Shankar Raj

Karnataka crosses 1000 COVID-19 cases mark as people conduct massive religious fair to 'ward off coronavirus'

Karnataka crosses 1000 COVID-19 cases mark as people conduct massive religious fair to ‘ward off coronavirus’Twitter

Bengaluru: Karnataka, on Friday crossed the 1000 mark of COVID-19 cases with 69 persons testing positive, taking the total to 1056. This is the highest spike in a single day in the state even as panic-stricken superstitious people held a massive temple fair to ward off the virus flouting all Covid lockdown norms.

The spike in COVID-19 cases was mainly due to the 20 people who had come from Gulf region to Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in repatriation flights testing positive. Bengaluru Urban and Mandya reported 13 cases each. There were seven cases each from Bidar and Hassan. The remaining cases were from Kolar (1), Kalaburagi (3), Bagalkot (1), Chitradurga 2, Shivamogga (1) and Uttara Kannada (1). The death toll has reached 36.

The 11 cases in Bengaluru city were all secondary contacts of a 34-year-old hospital staff working in Shifa Hospital. He had contracted his infection from a 42-year-old man with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), who had visited the hospital.

Meanwhile, throwing caution to the winds, hundreds of villagers of Kollagondanahalli in Ramanagara district’s Kanakapura taluk bordering Tamil Nadu conducted a massive religious fair “to ward off coronavirus”.

Visuals of residents holding up plates of offerings at the Maramma Temple in Kollagondanahalli went viral on social media on Friday. None of the devotees wore masks and there was no social distancing.

The village is located in Kanakapura taluk which is the constituency of Karnataka Congress President and MLA DK Shivakumar. Social media went hammer and tongs at Shivakumar and the minister in-charge for the district Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan for allowing the fair to happen.

According to the police, by the time they came to know of the fair, people had already dispersed and gone home.

Village accountant NC Kalmatt, who was in charge of ensuring the lockdown, has been suspended.