To prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease especially during the upcoming Puja Festival, the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District in a press release issued on Monday has advised persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to stay home and not to visit public places or puja pandals during the festival and spitting is strictly prohibited.
Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of five feet in public places as far as feasible and individuals must use face masks mandatorily at all times while taking part in all puja festivities, they must practice frequent hand washing with soap for at least 40-60 seconds even when hands are not visibly dirty or use alcohol-based sanitizers for at least 20 seconds, whichever feasible and strictly follow respiratory etiquettes while taking part in all puja festivities which involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing, sneezing with a tissue, handkerchief, flexed elbow and to dispose of used tissues properly and they must self-monitor one’s health and report any illness, symptoms at the earliest to district helpline or the nearest medical officer.
The Puja Committees, volunteers will be appropriately stationed at all puja pandals to ensure physical distancing and wearing of masks and all individuals are to strictly co-operate and follow the arrangements in all puja pandals accordingly.
Immersion of idols is strictly prohibited in water bodies other than the designated immersion ghats and only 15 members will be allowed to accompany the idol to the immersion ghat while 5 persons only is allowed to enter into the immersion ghat for puja rituals and onlookers, bystanders are not allowed during immersion.
People are advised to restrict the inter-locality movement as far as possible and not to venture out of their localities to prevent overcrowding.
Persons who are COVID-positive and high-risk contacts are not allowed to visit puja pandals or venture out during this time and legal action will be taken against violators as per the relevant laws.
People must avoid overcrowding in market areas, and limit the time spent in shopping malls and other places. Fines and penalties will be levied on shops, members of the public found to violate health protocols. Everyone must download and use Aarogya Setu and Behavioral Change Management App. (MIPR)