Odisha bans Holi Celebrations, Restricting Large Gatherings in Public Even During Festivals
The Odisha government prohibited the celebration of Holi in public places, as well as large gatherings during various festivals, on Monday, even as it unlocked all activities in March in response to a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases across the state. In its COVID-19 guideline for the month, the Odisha government stated that it would be in effect from 5 a.m. on March 1 to 5 a.m. on March 31.
The order stated that the local authorities would ensure proper adherence to the COVID-19 appropriate protocols during the celebrations of Mahashivratri, Holi, and Dolapurnima. During the Dola festival, people take out a procession carrying the idols of Radha and Krishna for worship, after which Holi is celebrated.
The government permitted religious rituals, but only with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restrictions in Dola Melan’s.
Meanwhile, in order to normalise and strengthen economic activities while also protecting public health and preventing the spread of COVID-19, the government issued an order that stated, “There shall be graded unlocking throughout the state with effect from 5 a.m. on March 1, 2022, until 5 a.m. on March 31, 2022.”
During the unlock period, all activities are permitted to operate fully in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. It stated that all social/religious gatherings are permitted with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and that exhibitions/fairs are permitted with full adherence to COVID protocols.
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