21:42 GMT11 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has been witnessing a sharp spike in the number of COVID-19 cases despite a strict lockdown which has seen all places of worship in the country shut for the past 60 days.

    The chief of Karnataka state, BS Yediyurappa, said on Wednesday that the state would allow the reopening of all places of worship from 1 June, when lockdown 4.0 is scheduled to be lifted. The BJP-led state government is the first in the country to announce such a move.

    ​The announcement to open all places of worships comes after the state chief drew flak for reopening only temples in the state, a decision which was taken on Tuesday after Yediyurappa held a meeting with the minister for religious and charitable trusts Kota Srinivas Poojary.

    Memes and strong reactions are circulating on Twitter over the decision, which netizens claim would break social distancing rules. While some are calling it a "bad decision" for which the government should be ready to face the consequences, others are calling the chief minister a "guy gone crazy".

    ​One twitter user claimed that the decision would backfire since religious places are mostly visited by older people.

    "Risking their lives! People use their hands for ringing temple bell when they enter ...govt is coming under pressure from such places due to their shrinking donations," he said.

    ​There was also a section that lauded the state government's decision and congratulated him for such a move.

    ​According to the state government, a standard operating protocol will soon be released which the religious authorities will have to abide once temples reopen

    Karnataka is witnessing a spike in the number of cases, with nearly 100 people testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. There are 2,283 confirmed cases in the southern state which has so far registered 44 deaths. India's total tally of active cases stands at 83,004 with 4,337 deaths.

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    Tags:
    lockdown, COVID-19, religion, Viral, Karnataka, India
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