Kolkata: This year, the City of Joy is amid a tussle between caution and celebration. The Union Health Ministry had already warned of the Covid third wave threats, if protocols are not properly followed during the festive season. However, the general public is in no mood to show any restrain for the festival (Durga Puja) they await all year.Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Fresh Flight Schedule Between India and Thailand | Here’s How to Book Tickets

Kolkata, during this time of the year, decks up like a princess. Every nook and corner of the city get decorated with variegated lights. Durga Puja in Kolkata is all about grandeur and creativity than rituals. The magnificent theme pandals are indeed a treat to watch. It is also a fact that for over the last 10-15 years, Bengalis across the country have not limited Durga Puja to just celebration, it has earned the epithet of being the epicentre of art which demands to be restored for their sheer grandeur and thought-provoking concepts. Also Read - Travel Update: Cambodia Announces Reopening in Phases to Fully Vaccinated Visitors

Covid Norms flouted in Kolkata’s Sreebhumi (Image: Facebook/TirthankarDas)

Last year, due to first wave of Covid Pandemic, the celebrations were curbed and kept low-key. However, this year despite government’s repeated request to follow Covid guidelines, masses were seen flouting every single protocol. The social distancing norms, masking, hand sanitisation, every guideline went for a toss. Also Read - Delhi School Reopening News: Expert Panel of DDMA Recommends Resumption Of Classes 6-8 at 50% Capacity

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The state health department urged people to take precautionary measures against the contagion and celebrate the festival from home. “The Covid-19 pandemic is very much active and we must not forget about the precautions we have been taking to combat it all these months. During this Durga Puja festival, we must avoid crowded places. It will be wise to stay indoors and celebrate the festival virtually,” the department said in an advisory.

A large number of people were seen visiting big-ticket pandals in and around Kolkata in the past couple of days, though the actual puja will start on Monday. The virus responsible for the disease has been mutating and the third wave of the pandemic could come any moment, the health department said.

Making wearing of masks and use of sanitiser mandatory every time people go out of home, the department advised them not to participate in ”sindoor khela” (a ritual in which women smear each other with sindoor on the last day of the puja) and keep adequate physical distance while visiting pandals or eateries during the festivities.

“It’s advisable for the elderly people, children and pregnant women to stay indoors and celebrate the puja online. If anyone has cold and fever, the person should go on isolation,” the advisory said.

The department has also advised puja organisers to engage people, preferably those who have been administered both doses of Covid-19, as volunteers.

(Video and Image Courtesy: Facebook/ Tirthankar Das)