Odisha Bans Makar Sankranti, Pongal Celebrations Amid COVID Cases Spike | Check Fresh Guidelines

Odisha on Tuesday ordered a ban on any religious gathering on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal on January 14.

Updated: January 11, 2022 7:55 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

Odisha Bans Makar Sankranti, Pongal Celebrations Amid COVID Cases Spike | Check Fresh Guidelines
According to the order, religious congregations or celebrations for Makar Sankranti and Pongal are strictly prohibited in Odisha. (File Photo for representation)

New Delhi: Odisha on Tuesday announced a ban on any religious gathering on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal on January 14. The state government, while announcing the fresh COVID restrictions, said congregations at river banks, ghats, ponds, seashores, or near other water bodies for bathing on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Pongal. According to the guidelines, the curbs will also be applicable for the following day – January 15 – in the state.

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Odisha recorded 7,071 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a sharp rise of 46 per cent over the previous day’s figure of 4829 cases and the biggest one-day spike in over seven months, the health department said. On June 5 last year the state had logged 7395 cases. The tally climbed to 10.83 lakh with the latest infections and the daily positivity rate jumped to 10.25 per cent from 6.5 a day ago. Seven hundred and seven children are among those infected in the past 24 hours, the bulletin said.

Khurda district, where Bhubaneswar is located, reported nearly one-third of the cases with 2,226 people affected by the virus. Sundargarh logged 1,147 infections, followed by 609 in Sambalpur and 505 in Cuttack, it said. The number of active cases climbed to 27,216 — including 8,609 in Khurda, which is in the red zone along with Sundargarh and Sambalpur. Cuttack is in the yellow zone with 2,000 coronavirus patients, the bulletin said.

Sundargarh has a daily positivity rate of 22.8 per cent, while it is 17.1 in Khurda, 15.8 in Sambalpur and 11.1 per cent in Cuttack. Nine districts, including Puri, Jharsuguda and Bolangir, have a positivity rate of 5-10 per cent, the department said.

Odisha issues fresh COVID guidelines for Makar Sankranti, Pongal celebrations

  • Since large crowd gather at the temples on the occasion, the Odisha government’s order stated that all religious places and places of worship will remain closed to the people on Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Makal Mela days.
  • However, religious rituals will allowed with bare minimum number of priests, servitors and staff, it said.
  • According to the order, religious congregations or celebrations are strictly prohibited.
  • People are advised to perform the rituals and puja on the occasion at their homes with only their family members. They should avoid mass gatherings and adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols, the order said.
  • The government also directed all district magistrates, municipal commissioners, commissioner of police of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack and superintendents of police to strictly enforce the guidelines.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published Date: January 11, 2022 7:50 PM IST

Updated Date: January 11, 2022 7:55 PM IST