Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Monday released the Covid-19 unlock guidelines for the month of February and also imposed restrictions on the observance of several festivals during this month.
The state government has imposed restrictions on the observance of Saraswati Puja and Magha Saptami/Magha Purnima in public places.
The Covid guidelines issued by the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) today, said,”Several Religious functions, Pup and festivities like Saraswati Puja, festivals namely Magha Saptami/ Magha Purnima will be observed/celebrated during February this year.”
People are advised to perform the rituals/puja on the occasion of Saraswati Puja at home with family members only avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face masks/ covering and handwashing/ hand sanitiser, the guidelines added.
The guidelines state that no community feast associated with puja/festivals during the period shall be allowed.
There shall be no musical or any other entertainment programme on the occasion of Saraswati Puja, the guidelines added.
Further, large Congregations at river banks/ghats/ponds/seashore or near other water bodies to take bath on the occasion of Magha Saptami/ Magha Purnima and on the day following shall remain prohibited throughout the State.
However, the rituals on Magha Mela/ Magha Saptami are allowed inside the temple without the participation of devotees. Religious congregations/ celebrations are strictly prohibited.
According to the guidelines issued by the SRC’s office, considering local conditions, District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may impose appropriate restrictions on the entry of devotees into churches/ temples/ mosques/ religious places/ places of worship and in the celebrations in churches/ temples/mosques/ religious places/places of worship.
Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners may decide the number of persons to attend any religious ritual/ festival/Puja in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and norms, the guidelines added.
As per the SRC guidelines, all offices under the control and superintendence of the Odisha government, public undertakings/ corporations/Societies/ Autonomous Bodies shall operate with 100 per cent staff with strict adherence to Covid protocols.
However, the GA &PG department will issue detailed guidelines/ SOP regarding the attendance of officers and staff.
Virtual/online meetings and trainings shall be encouraged, the guidelines added.