The Goa government on Tuesday revised the standard operating procedures related to the Ganesh festival celebrations in the state, to cater to the public sentiment. As per reports, the administration has withdrawn all norms issued to stop people from inviting the priests home, during the festival. People are now also allowed to invite guests to their house even if a family member is COVID positive. All regular precautionary protocols are valid and will be enforced during the course of the 10-day festival.
SOPs revoked in line with festive spirit
The Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramond Sawant claimed that the guidelines of the Experts' Committee, "were circulated as the SOP by mistake" and revoked them on Tuesday. He stated that his administration takes cognisance of the public sentiment and the spirit of the festival to not ordain the restrictive protocols.
He also took this opportunity to clarify that the state does not need to issued new norms or SOPs as guidelines on COVID-19 restrictions are already in place. People must abide by them and take self-caution against the virus spread.
The following guidelines are now not applicable in Goa:
According to the now-scrapped guidelines, the state had directed that priests could conduct online venerations instead of going from door to door and performing the puja. Similarly, families celebrating the festival were asked to resort to digital technologies like Youtube or WhatsApp to perform all related rituals.
Families with COVID infected person(s), patients in isolation or home quarantine were restricted from either holding the festival at their homes or visit pandals outside their house. This, along with the limited time protocol of staggered immersions from 5 PM to 10 PM, has been withdrawn, read reports.
Meanwhile, public festivities were only allowed if consented to by the local bodies. The permission was to be granted on a case to case basis, under the watch of all COVID protocols and due safety measures, however, the protocols now stand cancelled.