THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of the plan to prevent the spread of Covid-19, District Collector Navjot Khosa has issued strict guidelines for the conduct of all religious festivals. Permission is required to conduct religious festivals and Covid protocol will have to be followed at all places of worship. The number of people at religious places will be restricted to less than half of the total area of worship. This number cannot exceed 75 people.
The decisions were taken in a meeting the collector had with representatives of religious institutions in the district. Permission from the District Disaster Management Authority has been made mandatory for holding all religious festivals and celebrations. Among other decisions, feasts should be avoided and tap water should be used — instead of water stored in tanks — for all purposes in shrines. Adequate availability of sanitiser and other hand-washing facilities should be ensured at all places.
The total head-count for indoor events has been limited to 75, and outdoor to 150. Social distancing must be strictly implemented and children below the age of 10, those above the age of 60 and pregnant women should stay at home. Announcements should be made on the need to comply with Covid-19 inside and outside places of worship. These announcements have been made mandatory during rush hours. All the priests and their associates above the age of 45 should be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Those who have not been vaccinated and others under the age of 45 should undergo an RT-PCR test every 15 days and ensure that they are Covid negative.
Norms strict in containment zones
The Covid protocol will be implemented strictly in the containment zones of the district, collector Navjot Khosa has said. Public functions and gatherings in the area can be conducted only after taking permission from the district administration. The SHO of the nearest police station should be informed before conducting functions such as funerals, marriages, housewarmings, family get-togethers and so on.
Alampotta, Muttakkadu in Neyyattinkara municipality; Konniyoor, Mundukonam, Kovilvila, Ilaykode, Panniyodu, Mylottumoozhi, Kappikkad in Poovachal panchayat; Kottaykakam, Nediyamkode and Melekonam in Parassala panchayat; and Chavadimukku in Chemmaruthi panchayat in the district have been made containment zones.