GUWAHATI: The ensuring Durga Puja is set to be a low-key celebration with a number of restrictions in the ambience, thanks to the pandemic that is out to change every aspect of human life and practice.
Keeping the COVID-19 in mind, State Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna issued a notification spelling out guidelines to be adhered to during the Durga Puja.
The notification says —
(i) There shall be no mela etc., in and around pula pandals.
(ii) No temporary pandals shall be allowed to be erected on and by the side of any street.
(iii) A maximum of 30 persons inclusive of organizers and priests shall be allowed to gather at any time in Puja pandals.
(iv) A maximum of 20 devotees shall be allowed to gather at any Puja premises subject to there being sufficient space to maintain social distancing.
(v) Puja organizers should not allow any person to enter Puja premises without face cover and washing of hands. It will be the responsibility of Puja organizers to arrange for facilities for hand washing/ sanitization at entrances of Puja premises.
(vi) No permission for any immersion procession shall be given under any circumstances. Maximum of 5 persons shall be allowed to complete the ritual of immersion.
(vii) All visitors to puja locations shall be subjected to thermal scanning by puja organizers and no person with any symptom related to COVID-19 shall be allowed to enter the Puja pandals.
(viii) In case any person/ visitor to puja pandal is suspected to be symptomatic with COVID-19, it will be the responsibility of the Puja organizers to inform the nearest government medical facility and arrange for shifting of such person to the nearest COVID treatment centre.
The deputy commissioners shall make necessary arrangements to ensure that immersion is staggered over a three-day period to avoid congestion and large gathering on any day, the notification issued by the Chief Secretary said.
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