Bengaluru: With just a few weeks left for Dasara, Diwali followed by Christmas and New Year’s Eve the state government has banned religious and other public gatherings across the state.

The ban on public gatherings has come in place as there has been a spurt in COVID-19 cases.

Announcing the decision, Medical Education minister Dr K Sudhakar on Tuesday said, “Coronavirus cases have been rising for the last two months. Despite awareness being created on the dangers of the virus, people are careless and have not been wearing masks.”

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Dr K Sudhakar added “The government wants to come out with a stern rule to act against those violating social distancing and other norms. A detailed directive will be out in a few days”.

The minister has mentioned that the government has plans to organise awareness programmes by involving cinema stars, religious heads, political leaders, and artists.

The minister also said that the COVID-19 positivity rate in 7 out of 11 top districts is 12% and death rate 1.5%, which the government wants to bring down to below 1%, he said.