In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday issued advisory for the festival of Chhath Puja. The government in its latest order urged people to perform festival rituals at their homes or near their homes. In the notification, the state government also directed the local administration to make necessary arrangements at the traditional spots near rivers and ponds. 

Seeking cooperation from the devotees, the UP government appealed people to follow all COVID-19 protocols including maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks. Highlighting the changes in the arrangements, the government asked the local administration to ensure hygiene and cleanliness near river bodies and ghats. The district administration have also been asked to arrange for changing rooms and toilets for women.

In its advisory, the state government mentioned that ambulances will be stationed near ghats to ferry people in case of an emergency. Apart from this, the district officials have also been asked to ensure proper barricading near the water bodies. In order to monitor the movement of people, CCTV cameras will also be installed. The advisory also instructed the administration to arrange for drinking water and sanitization facilities as well.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday praised the Uttar Pradesh government for its COVID-19 management strategy by terming it as a ‘good example’ for other states to follow. WHO Country Representative Roderico Ofrin said, “The UP government’s strategic response to COVID-19 by stepping up contact tracing efforts is exemplary and can serve as a good example for other states.” WHO also appreciated the efforts made by CM Yogi Adityanath and his government for the management of COVID-19, especially in tracking high-risk contacts. 

As the world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic, Uttar Pradesh so far has recorded over 5,14,270 positive COVID-19 cases, out of which, 4,84,692 have successfully been recovered while 7,412 have died. As per the latest updates from MoHFW, in the past 24 hours,1,420 new cases, 19 deaths and 1,838 recoveries have been reported. Currently, the total number of active cases in the state is 22,166. As per the latest updates from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), total samples tested up to November 17 are 12,74,80, 186. While samples tested on November 17 are 9,37,279.