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Govt restricts gathering in religious, cultural festivals

Bhubaneswar : The Odisha Government on Friday clamped restrictions on observance of festivals and religious events and cultural rituals in view of the spike in COVID-19.

As festivals and religious events like Good Friday, Easter, Pana Sankranti, Jhamu Yatra, Danda Yatra and Ram Navami are falling in April. The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in a notification restricted large gatherings in festivals likeGood Friday, Easter, Pana Sankranti, Jhamu Yatra, Danda Yatra and Ram Navami in April, “During the religious events, people usually congregate and get in touch with each other.

Such congregations  have a potential to cause spread of the virus,” the SRC order read The congregation for celebration of the religious events and associated cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the state .

However, rituals in temples, churches and at other places of worship will continue as usual with limited numbers of persons and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The Collectors and Municipal Commissioners are directed to impose appropriate  restrictions on entry of devotees into churches, temples and other religious places to mark the occasions considering their local conditions.

They have been asked to decide the number of persons to attendany such religious ritual / festival in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to COVID guidelines.

Persons found violating the order will be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, the official cautioned.