The Assam Government has released a fresh set of guidelines for the upcoming Rongali Bihu and other festivals, in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the State.

A notification has been issued by the Assam Health Department mentioning the fresh guidelines that needs to be followed while celebrating Rongali Bihu and other festivals.

The notification issued by the Principal Secretary for Health and Family Welfare states that the Assam Government “is taking up various need-based steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, while keeping the core principles of COVID-19 management, namely TESTING, TRACING and TREATING (3Ts) along with ramping up of vaccination for the eligible categories”.

The Assam Government has rolled out a fresh set of norms for “public gathering” during the Rongali Bihu celebrations and other festivals like Ramadan, Ram Navami, etc.

THE NEW SOPs ARE:

Permission for organising functions and other festivals:

  1. The event organisers are to seek permission from the District Administration of the concerned district for organising any event resulting in public gathering, mentioning the number of people likely to gather at the proposed event and the maximum capacity of the place/site where the event is proposed to be held.
  2. This will enable District Administration to extend all possible support to the event organisers for successful and safe celebration of the event.
  3. The programme/festival/event have to be concluded by 11:00pm mandatorily.

Testing of organisers and volunteers:

  1. All the organisers and volunteers involved in the organisation of functions and festivals must test themselves for COVID-19 three (3) days prior to and after the event mandatorily.
  2. Necessary assistance from the nearest Government/Private testing facility may be taken in this regard.

Arrangements at the programme/festival/event site:

  1. The event spot/site should be spacious and must be kept open from all sides.
  2. The event area must have adequate space for arrangement of physical distancing (as per COVID-19 protocol).
  3. There should be multiple entry and exit gates and must be separate.
  4. Organisers must take measures to avoid crowding at all costs.
  5. Each and every participant should be screened for fever using thermal scanners by the volunteers and anyone having higher temperature may be advised to report to the nearest health facility for testing and should not be allowed to enter the event area.
  6. Proper signage must be there from entry to exit so that visitors are guided to adhere COVID appropriate behaviour once s/he enters the event area.
  7. The sitting arrangements should be made in such a way that required social distancing is maintained between the chairs. In case of fixed chairs, alternate seats may be considered.
  8. The organisers must engage volunteers at different points inside the event area to help out the visitors.

Keeping adequate volunteers available:

  1. The event organisers must keep adequate number of volunteers inside and outside the event area to ensure that visitors maintain physical distancing, wear mask properly and sanitise hands while visiting the event area.
  2. Volunteers themselves must follow COVID appropriate behaviour while interacing with visitors.

Compulsory use of mask and hand sanitisers:

  1. Proper usage of mask is mandatory for visitors/organisers.
  2. Provision of hand sanitizer must be kept at the entry gate and even in nearby area including parking area.
  3. The event area must be sanitised twice daily (once before the crowd gathers and once after the crowd leaves the venue) as a strict public health measure.

Emphasis on print, electronic and social media to maintain COVID protocol:

  1. The use of print, electronic and social media must be optimally done to generate mass awareness about the COVID-19 protocols for organising the event.
  2. Organising committee members must put up posters and signage in the event area for encouraging people to get vaccinated and for following COVID appropriate behaviour.
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