Assam: In view of the fresh rise of COVID-19 cases in the state, Himanta Biswa Sarma has issued a fresh set of standard operating procedures (SOP) for the upcoming Bihu celebrations in the state.

Taking to Twitter, he said, “Assam has geared up its COVID management strategies and taking up need-based steps to contain the spread of the disease.”

Permission for Organising functions and other festivals

  1. The event organisers are to seek permission from the District Administration of the concerned district for organising any event resulting in a public gathering, mentioning the number of people likely to gather at the proposed event and the maximum capacity of the place/site where the event is proposed to be held.
  2. This will enable District Administration to extend all possible support to the event organisers for the successful and safe celebration of the event.
  3. The programme/festival/event has to be concluded by 11.00 PM mandatory.

Testing of Organisers and volunteers

  1. All the organisers and volunteers involved in the organisation of functions and festivals must test themselves for COVID-19 three (3) days prior to and after the event mandatory.
  2. Necessary assistance from the nearest government/private testing facility may be taken in this regard.

Arrangements at the programme/ festival/ event site

  1. The event spot/site should be spacious and must be kept open from all sides.
  2. The event area must have adequate space for the arrangement of physical distancing (as per COVID-19 protocol).
  3. There should be multiple entry and exit gates and must be separate.
  4. Organisers must take measures to avoid crowding at all cost.
  5. Every participant should be screened for fever using thermal scanners by the volunteers and anyone having a higher temperature may be advised to report to the nearest health facility for testing and should not be allowed to enter the event area.
  6. Proper signage must be there from entry to exit so that visitors are guided to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour once s/he enters the event area.
  7. The sitting arrangements should be made in such a way that required social distancing is maintained between the chairs. In the case of fixed chairs, alternate seats may be considered.
  8. The organisers must engage volunteers at different points inside the event area to help out visitors.

Keeping adequate volunteers available

  1. The event organisers must keep an adequate number of volunteers inside and outside the event area to ensure that visitors maintain physical distancing, wear mask properly and sanitise hands while visiting the event area.
  2. Volunteers themselves must follow COVID appropriate behaviour while interacting with visitors.

Compulsory use of masks and hand sanitisers

  1. Proper usage of the mask is mandatory for visitors/organisers.
  2. Provision of hand sanitiser must be kept at the entry gate and even in the nearby areas, including the parking area.
  3. The event area must be sanitised twice daily (once before the crowd gathers and once after the crowd leaves the venue) as a strict public health measure.

Emphasis on print, electronic and social media to maintain COVID protocols

  1. The use of print, electronic and social media must be optimally done to generate mass awareness about the COVID-19 protocols for organising the event.
  2. Organising committee members must put up posters and signage in the event area for encouraging people to get vaccinated and for following COVID appropriate behaviour.

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