Odisha imposes restrictions on festivals, religious events

Bhubaneswar: Considering the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Odisha Government today imposed restrictions on observance of various festivals and religious events falling in the month of April.

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) issued a fresh order imposing restrictions.

“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 said.

To contain spread of the virus amidst the surge in COVID-19 cases, the SRC directed that 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 number of persons and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The SRC also directed Collectors and Municipal Commissioners 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 attend any 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.

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