Assam Government on Wednesday evening issued a fresh set of Standard Operating Procedures ahead of the festival season across the state amid the second wave of Covid-19.
Informing about the guidelines, State health minister Keshab Mahanta said that the state government has taken various measures to ensure the smooth celebration of the upcoming festivals including Vishwakarma Puja, Durga Puja, and Kali Puja.
The Puja organising committees have to get the required permission from the districts’ offices of the deputy commissioners, the minister noted adding, that all the members of the organising committees will have to be vaccinated.
The constructed Puja Pandals will have to be spacious so that visitors can maintain social distancing. There has to be a separate entry and exit in each pandal. Crowds will not be entertained the minister stressed.
Volunteers, organisers, worshipers, and visitors should all be vaccinated, the minister asserted. However, citizens below 18 years are exempted from these protocols.
Further, priests have to be tested for Covid-19 on the day of Panchami, Nabami, and Dashami. The minister has urged the organisers of the Puja committees to follow the protocols.
The minister has urged the organisers of the Puja committees to follow the protocols. The Mandap and Pandals have to be sanitised before and after the Puja.
Besides, the minister also said that the statutes should not be too large and no cultural programmes will be allowed. Also, no fairs can be set up on the premises of the pandals or even standalone.
Only a few people can be present during the bringing of the idol and immersion of the Goddess. The minister also highlighted that the everybody should be allowed to particpate in the rituals, however, following Covid-19 protocols is mandatory.
The Deputy Commissioners have been directed to monitor that the SOPs are followed in their respective districts.
The district administration will discuss the matter with the committees in advance. The curfew timings will remain in accordance with the latest SOP. Puja rituals must be completed within the issued curfew timings.
Guardian ministers will visit their respective districts to ensure that all the festivities are held without any disruptions.