Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Health Department in Odisha has cautioned people of the State to be careful during the upcoming Durga Puja times in order to keep the spread of Covid-19 under check.

"People have emotional connection with Puja. It's quiet natural for them to visit market places in large numbers. The situation will be ideal for a spurt in the pandemic," said State Health Director, Bijay Mohapatra.

"The Health Department will keep a close watch on the rush and crowd during Puja times and put emphasis on the enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour," said Mohapatra adding that people should avoid the rush consciously to keep them and others safe from the infection.

The top health official further said, “It's not always possible to carry out the enforcement. People should have the moral responsibility to confine themselves at homes and avoid rush to keep the society safe.”

"People have a tendency to go for marketing during Puja times. The onus is on them and the traders to maintain social distancing to avoid infection," he said adding that the people of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar have to be especially careful during the period.

"The number of cases have receded considerably in the Twin City, but there is every chance that it may pick up again from mid October. I urge people in the Twin cities to be abided by all Covid appropriate behaviour strictly during the crucial period," added Mohapatra.

"In order to contain the surge, the State administration will set up containment and micro-containment areas where Covid clusters will be seen," he informed.