Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said no processions will be allowed across Bangladesh ahead of the immersion of idols during the upcoming Durga Puja due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
He also directed all to maintain government-issued health safety guidelines while celebrating the upcoming puja, adding that devotees will also have to follow health rules during immersion of the idols of the Goddess Durga on Bijoya Dashami.
The decisions were taken at a meeting on law and order for Durga Puja — which will be celebrated in the last week of October — at the Home Ministry held virtually on Sunday.
High officials from the Information Ministry, Religious Affairs Ministry, Armed Forces, Police, BGB, and other law enforcement agencies and concerned departments, participated in the virtual meeting.
According to the directives issued during the meeting, all devotees have to wash hands and wear masks and the temple management committees will have to ensure social distancing and have sanitizers available at the temple premises.
The Puja Udjapon Committees have been told to coordinate with local administration and law enforcement to manage crowds in temples across the country, ministry officials said.
Religious leaders of the Hindu community have also been requested to take steps to limit the number of puja mandaps due to the pandemic.
The meeting said that the puja celebration committees may take steps for the live TV broadcast of the main program of Durga Puja to avoid crowding at the mandaps.
The Home Ministry also directed the puja management committees to call 999 for any assistance they may need.