Odisha Imposes Ban On Religious Gatherings At River Ghats, Restrictions on Rituals | Full Guidelines Here

The Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government on Wednesday religious gatherings at river ghats, ponds, seashore or near other water bodies during local festivals.

Updated: January 13, 2022 1:30 AM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Victor Dasgupta

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Odisha Omicron: Amid the rising covid cases in the state, the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government on Wednesday religious gatherings at river ghats, ponds, seashore or near other water bodies during local festivals. This comes after Odisha reported a massive spike in Omicron cases. According to the reports, the state registered 67 new cases of Omicron, the highest so far.

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“Prohibition of congregations at river-banks, no melas allowed. Religious rituals allowed with bare minimum priests/staff. If required, appropriate restrictions may be imposed on devotees’ entry. Officials may decide the number of people to attend any such ritual,” Odisha government said in its order.

Here are the guidelines issued by the government:

  1. Prohibition of congregations at river banks/ ghats/ ponds/ sea shore ‘or near other waterbodies to take bath.
  2. Prohibition of organisation / celebration mela.
  3. Prohibition of religious congregations/ celebrations
  4. Religious rituals are allowed in religious places/ places of worship with bare minimum priests/ servitors and staff.
  5. People are advised to perform the rituals/puja at their 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.
  6. If required, considering local conditions, appropriate restrictions may be imposed on entry of devotees into churches/ temples/- mosques/ religious places/ places of worship and in the celebrations in churches/ temples/mosques/ religious places/places of worship.
  7. Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners may decide the number of persons to attend any such religious ritual/ festival/Puja in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and norms. The devotees in these places must ensure Covid-19 safety protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and hand washing /hand sanitizer
  8. In case of violation of COVID-19 safety protocols, local authorities can take strict action including criminal action under relevant acts including Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  9. Such violation shall entail fines for devotees as decided by the local authorities.

Odisha had reported its first Omicron case on December 21 and the tally has reached 170 in 23 days. As of Wednesday the national tally of Omicron variant of COVID stands at 4868, according to the union health ministry.

Odisha’s COVID-19 case tally increased to 10,91,547 after 8,778 new infections were reported on Wednesday, which is about 24 percent more than the previous day. The state’s positivity rate also jumped to 11.77 per cent from 10.25 per cent on Tuesday.

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Published Date: January 13, 2022 12:35 AM IST

Updated Date: January 13, 2022 1:30 AM IST