Home / News / India /  Odisha bans public Holi celebrations amid surge in Covid-19 cases. Know details here

With Odisha registering 100 plus new coronavirus cases after a gap of 40 days, the state government has banned Holi celebrations in public places on 28 and 29 March this year, anticipating that the festival has the potentiality to cause the virus to spread.

The order came in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Cuttack and Khurda districts. The state on Friday reported 110 new positive cases taking the tally to 3,38,599.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in an order stated, "Holi on March 28 and March 29 and related rituals shall not be observed in public places throughout the state."

No Holi-related rituals allowed in public places

The state government said that no Holi-related rituals will be allowed to take place in public places throughout the state on March 28 and 29.

However, people may celebrate Holi with family members in their houses, SRC P K Jena said in the order.

"People may celebrate Holi with family members in their houses only and not in any public places including public roads," an order of Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office said.

The government has also put restrictions on "Dola" festival where people across the state take Lord Krishna and Devi Radha in palanquin called "Biman".

"Congregations for celebration of Dola Jatra and associated religious and cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public places throughout the state. Religious rituals in temples will continue as usual with strict adherence to Covid protocols," the order said.

However, it said that considering local conditions, District Magistsrates-cum-Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restriction on entry of devotees into temples and celebrations in temples and religious places.

The order also said that the Dola festival may be allowed with an appropriate number of participants as decided by the district or municipal authorities in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid safety norms.

Odisha Covid update

The 110 new cases were detected in 22 of Odisha's 30 districts, with 64 cases reported from quarantine centres and the remaining 46 are local contact cases.

Cuttack district reported the highest of 20 cases of which 13 were from a private college hostel. With this, the number of cases from a single institute in Cuttack city mounted to 25. Earlier on Thursday, 12 students had tested positive for the infection following which they were put in quarantine.

The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has closed the college for 10 days.

Cuttack district was followed by Khurda (15), Mayurbhanj and Nuapada (9 each), he said.

The state's coronavirus death toll remained at 1,918 as no fresh fatality has been reported since March 13. This apart, 53 other Covid-19 patients have died in the state due to comorbidities.

Odisha currently has 705 active Covid-19 cases while 3,35,923 patients have recovered from the highly infectious disease.

Odisha has so far tested over 87.36 lakh samples for COVID-19 including 24,572 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the General Administration & Public Grievance Department in a separate notification asked all government employees to wear masks while working and hold meetings over virtual mode until further orders.

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