Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has issued fresh guidelines for the celebration of festivals in April.
The government baned public congregation for festivals like ‘Good Friday’, ‘Easter’, ‘Pana Sankranti’/ ‘Jhamu Yatra’ , ‘Danda Yatra’ and ‘Sriram Navami’ which fall in April. However, religious rituals will continue.
As per an office order of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), the State is passing through a critical situation due to the detection of new variant of COVID-19 and it is necessary to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols for the containment of the spread of the infection.
And as people usually congregate and get in touch with each other to celebrate the festivals during which it is not possible to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour and such congregations have the potential to cause spread of the virus.
Therefore, the Chief Secretary has issued the following guidelines.
a. In the interest of health of the general public and for containment of spread of COVID-19, it is hereby directed that congregation for celebration of the above festivals like Good Friday, Easter, Pana Sankranti/Jhamu Yatra, Danda Yatra and Sriram Navami and associated religious and cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the State.
b. Religious rituals in churches/ temples/ places of worship will continue as usual with limited number of persons with strict adherence to Covid protocols.
c. Considering local conditions, Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restrictions on entry of devotees into churches/temples/religious places/places of worship and in the celebrations in churches/temples/religious places/places of worship, Collectors/Municipal Commissioners may decide the number of persons to attend any such religious ritual/festival/ in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and norms.
Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.