The Odisha government has issued guidelines for celebration of the Mahashivratri festival, falling on March 1, with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
Issuing an order for this purpose, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said the devotees in these places must follow Covid-19 safety protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and hand washing/hand sanitizer.
There is a continuous decrease in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state and the number of active cases has also decreased. However, a large number of devotees are likely to congregate at various Shiva temples on the festival of Mahasivaratri, which have large potential for spread of Covid-19 infections, Jena said.
Considering local conditions, the collectors, municipal commissioners and police commissioner (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack) can impose appropriate restrictions on entry of devotees into the temples, the SRC said.
Further, mela/congregations outside/ within the temple premises may be restricted so as to avoid mass gatherings/ crowding, the SRC said.
The local authorities have been authorized to decide the number of persons to attend any religious ritual in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour and norms.
As per schedule fixed at a meeting between servitors and Lingaraj temple’s executive officer, Mahadeep will be raised atop the Lord Lingaraj temple here at 10 p.m. on Maha Shivratri.
On Saturday, Odisha recorded 293 fresh Covid-19 cases, which is the lowest this year.
The state had registered 228 cases on December 31.
With the death of another four persons due to Covid-19 in Odisha, the total death cases rose to 9,056.