West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced guidelines for the upcoming Durga Puja festival amid the Covid-19 spread in the country.
According to the guidelines, the pandal needs to be open from all four sides for proper ventilation. Hand sanitisers will have to be mandatorily placed at entry points of pandals, and wearing of face masks will be binding.
“Durga Puja Carnival will not be organised this year,” the chief minister announced.
“Physical distancing needs to be maintained,” said Banerjee.
Cultural programs inside the pandals are also not allowed in this year’s celebration.
“Durga Puja committees to get Rs 50,000 each as a grant from the state government. 80,000 hawkers to receive one-time grant of Rs 2000 ahead of Durga Puja,” Banerjee also announced.
Durga Puja is celebrated widely in India but in West Bengal especially, it is one of the biggest festivals. The week-long festivities will begin from October 22.
Meanwhile, India recorded 86,508 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 57,32,518. The number of recoveries reached 46,74,987 while deaths cross 90,000 mark to reach 91,149.
In West Bengal, there are 2,34,673 people infected with the deadly virus as of Wednesday, according to the figures published by the state health department. The number of fatalities stood at 4,544.