Maharashtra govt issues SOPs ahead of Diwali to curb spread of COVID-19

(File/Representational image)

New Delhi (NVI): The government of Maharashtra issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of COVID-19, ahead of Diwali festival, which will be celebrated during the pandemic.

This announcement came a day after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that it will ban bursting of all fire-crackers at public places during Diwali festival.

Under the new guidelines, the state government has urged citizens to avoid bursting crackers to curb noise and air pollution which could pose a problem for coronavirus patients.

However, the government release appealed for subdued celebration of Diwali, like that of other festivals since the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidelines said that, “Those affected by COVID-19 are likely to be troubled directly due to the air pollution caused by bursting of firecrackers. Considering this, people should avoid bursting firecrackers this year. Instead, they can light lamps on a big scale and celebrate the festival.”

Social distancing norms should be strictly followed, while senior citizens and children in particular should avoid stepping out of home during the festival period, the guidelines noted.

SOPs on preventive measures to contain Covid during Diwali

Also, events should be organised through online platforms instead of holding physical gatherings, the SOP said, adding that, instead of cultural programs, priority should be given to health initiatives and awareness campaigns.

Meanwhile, in the worst-affected Maharashtra COVID-19 tally crossed crossed the 17 lakh-mark after, while more than 44,800 people died due to the pandemic in the state.

-RJV