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Delhi's religious places to remain open for prayers despite ban on Christmas, NY celebrations

On Wednesday, the DDMA banned all cultural events and gatherings for Christmas and New Year in Delhi given the gradual spread of the Omicron variant and a rise in daily tally of Covid-19 cases.
A woman purchases decorative items ahead of the Christmas festival at Khan Market, in New Delhi on December 22, 2021. (ANI photo)
Updated on Dec 23, 2021 04:41 PM IST
Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Religious places in the national capital will remain open for prayers despite restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations that have been imposed to check the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said in an order on Thursday.

Religious places will, however, have to ensure adherence to all Covid-19 related protocols such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, hand washing and sanitisation, the DDMA said.

Also Read| Delhi bans Christmas, New Year gatherings as Omicron cases rise

“All religious places (temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras etc) are already permitted to open for visitors/devotees to offer prayers/devotion/celebrations/ within such places subject to strict compliance of related SOPs issued from time to time and adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour viz. wearing of a mask, maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing and use of sanitiser etc.” the DDMA order read.

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The order added that no separate permission is required for the above activities.

On Wednesday, the DDMA banned all cultural events and gatherings for Christmas and New Year in Delhi given the gradual spread of the Omicron variant and a rise in daily tally of Covid-19 cases.

Restaurants and bars have been allowed to remain open with 50 per cent seating capacity. Marriage-related gatherings are also permitted with a maximum of 200 people in attendance.

Also Read| As Covid-19 cases rise, Delhi govt begins ramping up its home isolation infra

"All social/political/cultural/religious/festival related gatherings are prohibited throughout NCT of Delhi... All district magistrates and DCPs shall ensure that no cultural event/gatherings/congregation takes place for celebrating Christmas or New Year in the NCT of Delhi," the DDMA had said in its order on Wednesday.

Delhi is currently the second-highest contributor of Omicron cases in the country. As many as 64 people have been infected by the variant so far of whom 23 have been discharged.

Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi climbed to 14,42,515, including 25,102 deaths, 624 active cases and 14,16,789 recoveries. On Wednesday, 125 cases were reported, the highest single-day spike since June 22 while 58 patients recovered. No new deaths were reported.

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