Agartala: With Durga Puja just 9-days away, the states have issued various safety measures to be followed during Puja. The Government of Tripura has made it compulsory for all the puja organisers, priests, and the volunteers to go for rapid antigen test (RAT) before October 22. The four-day Puja will begin on October 22.
COVID testing teams would be present at all the large budget pandals. There are 17 strict rules which are to be followed by the organisers during the Puja. However, no community Puja is allowed to be organised in the containment zones due to the pandemic. The gatherings of villagers have been restricted too.
All the pandals will need to have COVID screening tools, if any devotee is found to have COVID symptoms, they are not allowed to enter the Puja pandal.
The guidelines said that priests should chant the mantras on loudspeakers to avoid gatherings. The procession of people and dance during the puja is prohibited too. To offer floral prayers at the pandal, only a few numbers of devotees will be allowed. The guidelines also focused on the need for CCTV coverage of the puja pandals.
People above the age of 65, children below 10, and pregnant women have been advised to not visit the pandals.
The government also banned fairs and amusements that attract crowd during Puja. The temporary food stalls have also been restricted, however, if their safety arrangements satisfy the authority, they might be allowed. If not, the already established restaurants and hotels would serve the pandal hoppers, said an official.