Puja celebrants ignore safety protocols

Puja celebrants ignore safety protocols
Street packed with people flouting safety norms in Dimapur.
DIMAPUR, OCT 25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/25/2020 12:58:12 PM IST

Despite strict guidelines being issued by the government, hordes of people were seen flocking around puja pandals in Dimapur Sunday evening with little or no regard for social distancing norms while may were seen without mask.

Crowd management, however, remained a challenge as swarms of revellers gathered outside the pandals, despite repeated warnings by the puja committees.

Though the government had warned of taking strict action against those violating the guidelines including puja committee/organizer or the individual/devotee as the case may be, the scene on the ground was totally the opposite in Dimapur as there was no check or safety protocols being followed. Many were seen thronging the stalls setup along the roadsides, while people made bee-line outside designated pandals. 

The government had issued specific guidelines like disallowing temporary pandals on and by the side of any street, ban on setting up of mela/food stall or stalls selling any items etc. 

Dimapur has been the worst COVID-hit district in the state, with more than half of the cases being reported from the district.

Recent festivals across the country– such as Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Onam in Kerala – have seen a considerable Covid spike.

State Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department on Saturday expressed serious concern that most of the COVID positive patients did not have travel history or known contact with a positive case-- a clear indication towards community transmission.

The department also categorically stated that the state was witnessing uncontrolled spread in closed settings like offices, restaurants, bakeries, religious communities, increasing risk elsewhere. This, it said has increased the risk of spread in the community, adding “these are settings where super spreader events happen.”

According to the department, “super-spreader events” are non-technical terms used to describe persons and events where the spread of COVID-19 is much than under normal circumstances.  

Taking note of the uncontrolled spread in the state, the Health department warned of every possibility of re-imposing total lockdown in the State.


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