On Monday, the Odisha government prohibited the mass celebration of Chhath Puja which includes bathing at river banks, ghats, or public embankment.
On Monday, the Odisha government released order and prohibited Chhath devotees from celebrating the festival in masses.
Chhath Puja will be celebrated on Friday and Saturday.
What did the order say?
On Monday, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy issued an order saying: The state is passing through a critical stage of COVID-19 pandemic and it is necessary to strictly adhere to the safety protocols for containing the spread of the infection. Chhath Puja is approaching, during which usually there is a large congregation of people at river banks for taking holy bath and performing puja. Such a congregation has a large potential for the spread of COVID-19 infections. Considering this, the celebration of Chhath Puja, including mass bathing, at rivers, ghats shall remain prohibited during November 20-21, 2020.”
The issued order further said that if any person will be found violating the order will be booked under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 and other relevant laws.
The order further advised the devotees to perform the Chhath Puja rituals at their respective homes and not near rivers and public ghats.
The Odisha government has prohibited the mass celebration of Chhath Puja in order to avoid mass gatherings at the time of increasing COVID-19 infections within the state and the country. The state government has also requested the people to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols like wearing face masks, hand washing, using sanitizers, and physical distancing.
Not only Chhath Puja the Odisha government had banned crackers and mass gathering at the time of Dussehra, Luxmi puja, and Diwali
Chhath Puja in other states
Chhath Puja is an auspicious festival of Jharkhand and a report from Jharkhand’s capital said that the government had prohibited mass gatherings on festivals like Dussehra, Luxmi puja, and Diwali in view of the coronavirus pandemic.