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Sharmili Mallick

Berhampur: Amid the recent spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases in districts across the State and outside, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Ganjam district administration has made RT-PCR test report compulsory for people visiting the district from hotspot places, said district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.

Besides, entry into the district will be allowed only to people with health-related issues. Those without RT-PCR reports will have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for seven days.

"As festivals like Danda Nacha and Yatras are approaching, residents of Ganjam district who are settled outside Odisha for jobs or business will return to their homes. Therefore, I request the concerned organisers not to invite them for the festivals. I also urge the non-resident Odias not to visit the district only to participate in these festivals," appealed Kulange after attending a meeting held to review the preparations to tackle the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the district on Monday.

"However, people having health issues can come to Ganjam but they will have to carry an RT-PCR report or else they will have to undergo 7-day mandatory home quarantine," said the district Collector.

Kulange also warned that if the district administration received reports of devotees coming to the district from outside stations for Yatra or Nacha, the celebrations will be cancelled.

The Ganjam district administration will follow the directives issued by the State Government for ‘Holi’ celebrations on March 28 and 29.

"People may celebrate Holi with their family members in their respective houses only and not in public places. Holi-related rituals will be performed in temples but with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols," said Kulange.

The rituals of Budhi Thakurani Yatra will also be observed amid Covid-19 restrictions and there will be no procession this year, added Kulange.

People of the district have been strictly asked to use masks and maintain social distancing. The district administration has directed the BDOs, tehsildars and NAC executive officers to ensure strict compliance of Covid-19 protocols in rural and urban areas.

The district Collector said that that lockdown and shutdown situation may return to the district if the safety precautions are not followed by citizens.

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