Tripura makes Covid-19 tests mandatory for priests, organizers for Durga Puja
Tripura government on Tuesday issued guidelines for the celebration of Durga Puja and other pujas from October to December to avoid transmission of Covid-19. The administration has also mandated Covid-19 tests for priests, puja organizers and volunteers two days before Durga puja, officials said.
The guidelines served by the Disaster Management Authority on Monday, directed the puja organizers to take prior permission from the concerned district and police administration for puja celebration, reducing the number of puja pandals through mutual consultation where 5-10 visitors will be allowed to enter at a time and that too, maintaining one-meter physical distance from each other, avoiding narrow entrance and exit systems in the pandal.
The clubs are also asked to go for online subscriptions for puja and avoid visiting homes amid pandemic.
The guidelines also directed puja organizers, priests and volunteers to undergo Covid-19 tests two days before Durga Puja and set up Covid-19 testing booths at major puja sites.
The priests have been directed to conduct pushpanjali ritual through microphones during puja and the devotees are advised to bring flowers from their homes for pushpanjali. Maximum 10-15 devotees can participate in the ritual at a time.
The puja clubs are directed to not let more than 10-15 women for ‘Sindoor Khela’ (a ritual where married women put vermillion on Goddess Durga’s) at a time on Dussehra.
No procession has been allowed while bringing the idol of Durga to the pandal. At least 30 persons will be allowed to attend the immersion of the idol as per the guidelines.