Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government today issued COVID-related guidelines and restrictions for celebration of Makar Sankranti and Pongal in the state. The festivals fall on January 14, this year.
Below are the guidelines and restrictions.
* Congregations at river banks/ ghats/ ponds/ sea shore or near other water bodies to take bath on the occasion of Makar Sankranti/ Pongal and on the day following shall remain prohibited throughout the state.
* Organisation / celebration of Makar Mela is strictly prohibited.
* All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public on Makar Sankranti/ Pongal/ Makal Mela day(s). However religious rituals are allowed with bare minimum priests/ servitors and staff.
* Religious congregations/ celebrations are strictly prohibited.
* People are advised to perform the rituals/ puja on the occasion of Makar Sankranti/ Pongal at home with family members only, avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face mask/ covering and hand washing/ hand sanitizer.
All District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack/ Superintendents of Police have been directed to strictly enforce the above guidelines.