Bhubaneswar: As the State Government has discouraged large gatherings along with other preventive measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, it has made some changes in the usual schedule of the Independence Day celebrations this year to ensure maximum safety of guests and participants.
In wake of the pandemic, the Home Department has directed all the District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to strictly adhere to the following decision taken in a preparatory meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.
- After 9 AM, the National Flag shall be unfurled by the Chief Guest (to be intimated separately by Home Dept) followed by playing the National Anthem
- Only one/two police contingent to participate in the ceremony for offering compliments to the Chief Guest during the celebration
- There will be no parade/ marchpast
- There will be no participation by the general public. Only limited number of guests (around 50 to 75) may be invited to the celebration, using e-invites, including 15 to 20 Covid Warriors (including doctors, health workers, sanitation workers)
- It is imperative that social distancing norms, wearing masks, etc., are to be followed strictly by those attending the function. The venue must be well sanitised and a hand sanitiser available at the entrance.
- Tree plantations and online essay/quiz contests may be held to mark the occasion.
Similar guidelines/procedure may also be followed for celebration of the Independence Day at the Block and Panchayat levels.