Ratha Jatra: Mask mandatory for all participants in Puri

Bhubaneswar: In view of continuous rise of Covid-19 cases in Odisha, authorities decided to make face mask mandatory for the upcoming Ratha Jatra in Puri.

“A large congregation is expected in Puri during Ratha Jatra, which is being held with devotees’ participation after a gap of two years. As the Covid-19 infections continued to inch up in the state, wearing mask is mandatory for all participating in the annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath,” informed Health Director Bijay Mohapatra today.

He suggested people, who have Covid symptoms, to watch the Ratha Jatra on television instead of visiting the pilgrim town.

“Don’t visit Puri during Ratha Jatra, if you have Covid symptoms. Watch the festival on TV instead. The health camps will be set up at Puri Railway Station, Bus Stand and Grand Road for Rath Jatra. The symptomatic Covid patients can visit the health camps for treatment,” the senior Health official said urging people to be more cautious to check the spread of Covid infections.

Meanwhile, the arrangements are in full swing for the Ratha Jatra scheduled on July 1. In this regard, the state government has directed the Puri district administration to remain prepared to tackle the Covid upsurge during the festival.

In view of possible influx of devotees for the grand sojourn in Puri, the Health & Family Welfare Department has instructed Collector Samarth Verma to keep Covid care centres, beds fitted with oxygen facilities, ICU and HDU beds ready.

This apart, the beneficiaries, who have not been vaccinated with second and precaution dose of Covid-19 vaccines, will be given the shots in a special camp in Puri.

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