BHOPAL: Aiming to limit the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, the BJP government has banned Garba functions during the upcoming festive season in Madhya Pradesh.
The Additional Chief Secretary (ACS-Home) Dr Rajesh Rajoura has issued new guidelines for the prevention and protection from Coronavirus infection during religious programmes and festivals.
Permission will not be granted to hold processions for religious and social events during the festivals.
Garba function will also not be permitted, an official statement of the state government said on Friday.
Garba functions have formed an integral part of Sharadiya Navratri celebrations in Madhya Pradesh, particularly in parts of Malwa-Nimar region and big cities, including Indore and Bhopal.
During the last Navratri season in 2019, unprecedented heavy rains which lasted upto October had dampened the festive fervour, leading to cancellation of Garba events in various parts of the state.
Dr Rajoura informed that the maximum height of the idol (Durga idol and Kali idols in the coming festive season) to be installed in various public places will be of 6 ft and the size of the pandal will be 10 × 10 feet.
A maximum 100 people will be allowed to take part in the function. Prior approval from the district administration will be mandatory to organize any such function.
It will be mandatory to adhere to the guidelines, issued by the honourable Supreme Court for the use of loud speakers etc.
The ACS (Home) further informed that the district administration will select such spots for idol immersion, where there is least crowd.
The District Peace Committees and District Crisis Management Committees may consider a decentralized system of immersion.
For idol immersion, written permission will have to be obtained in advance from the district administration for a group of maximum 10 people.
Dr Rajoura said that all shops will be allowed to open only till 8 pm. Shops including chemists, restaurants, eateries, ration and similar shops can remain open after 8 pm also till its scheduled time.
The shop operators will themselves wear masks and make circles at a distance of one yard to ensure social distancing and arrangement of sanitizer. Failure to do so will lead to imposition of penalty and penal action against the operators.
All district collectors have been directed to ensure constant inspection of shops.
Total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Madhya Pradesh breached the one-lakh mark on Friday, with 2552 new cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total cases reported so far in the state to 1,00,458.
The state has so far reported 1901 deaths, while 76,952 patients have already recovered from the fatal viral infection.
On Friday, after a span of many days the number of patients recovered over the last 24 hours which stood at 2554 patients.
Presently 21,605 active patients are under treatment of the deadly disease across the state.