Mysuru, Aug 17 (IANS) The Karnataka government has announced that due to Covid, Dasara celebrations will remain a low-key affair, and authorities have decided to allow only those jumbos that test negative for Covid infection in the festivities.
The negative RT-PCR test has also been made compulsory for mahouts, kavadis, and the Dasara organising committee members.
Elephants were tested ahead of last year's celebration also. Usually, 13 to 14 elephants take part in the Dasara fete but only five were allowed last time.
Forest Department officials, veterinarians and officers will reach elephant camps in Mysuru and Kodagu to conduct Covid tests. The tests will be conducted on Abhimanyu, the elephant that carried the Golden Howdah, as well as Gopi, Vikram, Kaveri, and Vijaya.
The final list of participating elephants will be prepared after the test results are obtained.
Mysuru in-charge Minister S.T. Somashekar said on Tuesday that this year also, Dasara is going to be a simple affair. A high-level meeting will be held at the end of this month for a final decisions, he added.
The Dasara festival, known as Nada Habba or 'state festival', is celebrated in mid-October and attract tourists from across the world. Due to Covid, the celebrations are being kept low-key.