In view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Jharkhand government has decided to ban organising of Chhath Puja celebrations on the banks of water bodies. Chhat Puja, observed mainly by the people of Bihar, Jharkhand and bordering areas in Uttar Pradesh, will be celebrated on November 20.
“Chhath Puja in water bodies including public ponds, lakes, rivers, dams, reservoirs shall not be permitted in view of Covid-19 pandemic,” said a notice issued by the government.
As part of this puja, devotees congregate on the banks of water bodies, take a holy dip and perform a few rituals, all standing inside the water. “Due to the fixed timing of performing the aforementioned rituals, it is not possible to ensure social distancing,” the notice read.
“The ritual of holy bathing in common waters is a matter of serious concern,” the notice pointed out, adding that it would increase the chances of spreading of Covid-19 and contaminate the water. “It is important to strike a balance between permitting religious activities and ensuring that checks and balances are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” it further read.
Kolkata and New Delhi governments have also imposed restrictions on the celebrations this year.
India on Monday recorded 30,548 fresh Covid-19 cases. The total number of people infected with the disease has gone up to 8,845,127 while 130,070 people have died so far.
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