Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Monday said the government will not impose a lockdown in the state even as it predicted coronavirus cases to peak by the end of January, The Indian Express reported.

The decision was taken after the state Cabinet’s meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

“Experts have compared the trends in Delhi and Maharashtra, where the number of cases has been declining in recent days,” Ashoka said. According to their calculation, Karnataka may see cases peaking in the last week of January. Thereafter, the cases are expected to decline.”

Meanwhile, Bommai has asked the officials to deploy more staff outpatient departments of hospitals in Bengaluru. He has also directed the health department officials to prioritise infected children, especially those from rural areas.

Karnataka has reported more than 20,000 cases for two consecutive days. On Monday, the state logged 27,156 fresh cases of which capital Bengaluru alone recorded 15,947 patients. The state’s positivity rate was at 12.45%. Around two lakh tests have been conducted in the state over the past few days.

The state has imposed several restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. The movement of citizens between 10 pm and 5 am is prohibited on all days, while a weekend curfew is in place too. All schools and colleges, except for Classes 10 and 12, have been closed for physical classes.

The guest limit for marriages has been capped to 200 in open spaces. In closed spaces, only 100 guests are allowed. Rallies and protest marches have been banned in the state till January 19.

However, despite the curbs, thousands of devotees on Tuesday participated in a religious festival in the Chikkamagaluru district, NDTV reported. The pictures of the gathering, which took place at Shri Shakuna Ranganatha Swamy Temple, showed people crowding without masks and not following physical distancing norms.

The celebrations reportedly took place despite directives from Chikkamagaluru’s deputy commissioner who had asked the temple to not allow more than 50 devotees.