Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], November 16 (ANI): Advising the Chhath devotees to perform the rituals at home in wake of the COVID-19 situation, Odisha government on Monday issued an order to prohibit celebrations near rivers and public ghats.
Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and other relevant laws, an order by Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathi said.
"The state is passing through a critical stage of COVID-19 pandemic and it is necessary to strictly adhere to the safety protocols for containing the spread of the infection. Chhath Puja is approaching, during which usually there is a large congregation of people at river banks for taking holy bath and performing puja. Such a congregation has a large potential for spread of the COVID-19 infections. Considering this, the celebration of Chhath Puja, including mass bathing, at rivers, ghats shall remain prohibited during November 20-21, 2020," Tripathi stated in the order.
This is being done in exercise of the powers under section 24(1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, read with rule 8(1) of the Odisha Disaster Management Rules, 2010.
"To strictly adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols for the containment of the spread of the infection, the people are advised to perform the rituals at home, avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face mask/covering and handwashing/hand sanitising," the order stated.
Odisha recorded 749 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total COVID-19 infections to 3,09,408 in the state. Till Monday, the active cases stood at 9,950, and total deaths 1,543, including 16 in the last 24 hours. (ANI)