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Centre releases SOPs to contain spread of COVID-19 for upcoming festival season

New Delhi:7/10/20: Union Health Ministry yesterday released Standard Operating Procedures on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 during festivities. The months of October to December are time for festivities that witness gatherings of a large number of people in specific locations for religious worship, fairs, rallies, exhibitions, and cultural functions. The Ministry said, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, it is important that necessary preventive measures are followed for such events. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home.

The Ministry has asked administration to identify spatial boundaries and prepare a detailed site plan which would facilitate compliance with thermal screening, physical distancing, and sanitization. In the case of rallies and immersion processions, the number of people should not exceed the prescribed limit and proper physical distancing and wearing of masks must be ensured. In any case, the number of such rallies and the distance covered by them may be kept within manageable limits. Events planned to last for many days or weeks such as exhibitions, fairs, puja pandals, Ramlila pandals or concerts and plays should have adequate measures to ensure a cap on physical numbers. Staggered timings and restricted entry may be considered. Festive events will be permitted only outside the Containment Zones. People residing inside Containment Zones should be encouraged to observe all festivals inside their homes and not move out.

Closed-circuit cameras may be considered to monitor compliance of physical distance norms and wearing of masks at each venue. Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of six feet in public places as far as feasible. In religious places, touching statues, idols and holy books will not be allowed.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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