Berhampur (Odisha), Apr 5 (PTI) To check the spread of coronavirus amid a surge in COVID-19 cases across Odisha, the Ganjam district administration on Monday capped the gatherings in marriage-related functions at 100.
Packaged food will be provided to guests at weddings instead of organising community feasts, the order said.
Earlier, the district administration had allowed 200 people to attend marriage functions.
'There are chances of guests from areas outside Ganjam district and other states to attend marriage ceremonies. There is also a possibility of the spread of COVID-19 when people attend community feasts without using masks', Ganjam collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said.
Anyone violating the order shall be punished under provisions of relevant laws, Kulange said.
The administration has also decided to close the Tara Tarini temple, a famous Shakti shrine, on every Wednesday for its sanitisation.
'On every Tuesday during the ongoing month of Chaitra, devotees visit the shrine to offer prayers and attend Chaitra mela. So there is a need to sanitise the temple for one day for the safety of visitors,' he said.
In an earlier order, the district administration had said, Mundan (head tonsure ritual) of children near the Tara Tarini temple will not be allowed from the second week of 'Chaitra Mela' due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the district.
However, the authorities allowed the people to have a darshan of the twin deities.
On every Tuesday of the Hindu month of 'Chaitra', devotees from far off places throng to the shrine, located near Purushottampur in the district, to have a glimpse of the twin deities and to tonsure their children.
The district administration has also restricted the number of participants for Danda Nata, an annual religious festival, to 25 instead of 50. PTI COR AAM MM MM