Assam Health Dept notifies COVID appropriate guidelines for Bihu & other festivals

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Guwahati, Apr 9 (PTI) The Assam Health and Family Welfare Department on Friday notified COVID appropriate guidelines for the upcoming Bohag Bihu and other festivals in the state in view of the fresh spike of COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country.

The notification stated that the guidelines to be strictly adhered to and followed by all the event organisers /visitors/participants of functions and other festivals in the state for the general safety and security of all participants against COVID-19.

It said that the guidelines for public gathering during the Bohag Bihu and other festivals such as Ram Navami, Ramadan, was for ensuring that people are able to celebrate their festivals with joy and simultaneously adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

The notification said the event organisers are to seek permission from the concerned district administration for organising any event resulting in public gathering.

It said all programmes/festival/events should conclude by 11 pm and all the organisers and volunteers involved in the organisation of functions and festivals must test themselves for COVID-19 three days prior to and after the event mandatorily.

Stating Assam has geared up its COVID management strategies and is taking up various need-based steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, the notification said every participant is to be screened for fever using thermal scanners and anyone with higher temperature than normal may be advised to report to the nearest health facility for testing and should not be allowed to enter the event area.

Use of mask and hand sanitiser has been made compulsory for visitors/organisers, besides keeping hand sanitizer at the entry gate and other areas, including parking lot.

The guidelines also included sanitising the event area twice daily - once before the crowd gathers and again after they leave the venue - as a strict public health measure.

The event organisers must engage an adequate number of volunteers inside and outside the event area to ensure that visitors maintain physical distance, wear masks properly and sanitise hands, while volunteers themselves follow COVID appropriate behaviour while interacting with visitors.

The guidelines also mandated that the organisers mention the number of people likely to gather at the proposed event to avoid crowding at all cost and the maximum capacity of the place/site where the event is proposed to be held enabling the district administration to extend all possible support to them for successful and safe celebration of the event.

Regarding arrangements at the programme/festival/ event site, the guidelines said it should be spacious and must be kept open from all sides, the event area must have adequate space for arrangement of physical distancing as per COVID-19 protocol, have separate multiple entry and exit gates.

The sitting arrangements should be made in such a way that social distancing is maintained between the chairs. In case of fixed chairs, alternate seats may be considered. PTI ESB RG RG