The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in its order dated September 28 directed state governments to prevent overcrowding and ensure that Covid guidelines like social distancing are followed during the upcoming festive season in the country. The daily case count has been below 30,000 since September 25 and authorities across India have issued strict guidelines regarding festival celebrations to prevent the spread of infections during festival celebrations.
West Bengal Govt Issues Durga Puja Guidelines
The government of West Bengal has issued guidelines for the Durga Puja celebrations in the state. “This year Puja is being organised and celebrated in the middle of this unprecedented pandemic. This demands proper and adequate health safety measures for the citizens. Puja Committees must ensure the health and safety norms for themselves and for the participants and visitors,” read the advisory issued by the West Bengal government.
As per the guidelines, pandals shall have to be spacious and open from all sides with separate entry-exit points. If in case, it becomes essential to have a closed ceiling, the sides must be kept open. Pandals must keep adequate space and arrangements for ensuring physical distancing in terms of the existing COVID-19 pandemic norms.
No cultural programmes in/near the Puja pandal premises will be allowed. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to have physical distancing norms, the state immersion carnival shall not be held this year, as per the guidelines. In a similar move, melas and carnivals near Puja pandals shall not be allowed.
BBMP Guidelines For Durga Puja In Bengaluru
In a guideline issued by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for Durga Puja in Navratri, the municipal body has said the idol size shall not exceed four feet and there shall not be more than 50 people at a time during prayers. BBMP has also put a blanket ban on DJ, Dhak or drums during visarjan procession.
Puja associations shall mandatorily do thermal screening and sanitisation for all visitors to the entry gate. Additional sanitiser bottles are to be placed in multiple places inside the venue. Further, sanitisation of chairs, tables and floors are to be done at least four times a day.