The Telangana government on Saturday decided not to allow public celebrations in the state during the coming religious events, till April 30, to prevent spread of COVID-19, besides making it mandatory to wear face masks in public places. In an order, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar observed that the number of COVID-19 cases has been showing a rising trend since the last few weeks.
He referred to a recent order of the Union Home Ministry providing for states to impose local restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus based on assessment of the situation. Noting that congregations pose considerable threat of rapid transmission of COVID-19, the order said it is decided that public celebrations/observances should not be allowed in the state during upcoming religious events such as Shab-e-Barat, Holi, Ugadi (Telugu New Year), Rama Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday, Ramzan and others till April 30.
“During the above period, no rallies, processions, public celebrations, gatherings, congregations etc shall be allowed in connection with religious events in public places, grounds, parks and religious places in the state," it said. Any violation of the instructions should result in prosecution under the Disaster Management Act, the IPC and other applicable laws.
The Chief Secretary directed the district Collectors and Commissioners/Superintendents of Police to strictly implement the instructions. In a separate order, the Chief Secretary said wearing of masks in public places, work spaces and public means of transport shall be mandatory across the state.
“… Any deviation in this regard shall attract prosecution under sections 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act 2005 and section 188, IPC as well as other applicable laws," the order said. Wearing of face masks is one of the most important interventions to prevent COVID-19, it added..