Odisha prohibits Chhath Puja celebrations

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 16 (PTI) The Odisha government has prohibited mass celebration of Chhath Puja on Friday and Saturday, including bathing at river banks, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an order issued by Chief Secretary A K Tripathy on Monday, the state government said since a large number of people congregate near the river banks in keeping with the rituals, celebration of the festival has huge potential for spread of COVID-19 infections.

'People are advised to perform other rituals in their respective houses, avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing,' it said.

Persons found violating the order will be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, the order added. PTI AAM RBT RBT