BHUBANESWAR

Covid glare: Govt bans gatherings on Holi | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK: The state government on Friday banned celebrations of Dolayatra and Holi in public places on March 28 and 29 to prevent possible spread of Covid-19.
“People may celebrate Holi with family members in their houses only and not in public places including roads. Collectors and municipal commissioners may impose further restrictions as desirable in consideration of local situations,” the order issued by chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra stated.
Religious rituals in temples will continue as usual with strict adherence of Covid protocols. “Collectors and municipal commissioners may decide on imposing restrictions on entry of devotees into temples and celebrations in temples and religious places,” it added.
The festival of colour witnesses large gatherings. In such a scenario, Covid infection is likely to rise further. As such, people have become complacent forcing the government to increase enforcement activities.
In Cuttack, the police have introduced certain guidelines for people to adhere to during the festival. “Given that the number of fresh positive cases in Cuttack has increased, to prevent further spread it is necessary to observe Holi by following prescribed guidelines,” DCP Prateek Singh said.
He said senior police officers have been asked to coordinate with the organisers and ensure there is no crowding and Covid protocols are maintained. According to the police, in Cuttack the gathering will be limited to 200 people. No procession and music or loudspeakers will be allowed this year. “Violators will be strictly monitored and action will be taken against them,” Singh added.
The general administration department has also come out with guidelines for government employees as to how to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour to check the spread of the disease. It has made it mandatory for all employees to wear mask while in office. Violation will be treated as indiscipline, it stated. Besides, it has restricted undue gathering of employees along office corridors, thus asking all to maintain social distancing.

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