In Puducherry, where COVID-19 cases have shown an increase over the past three days, and two cases of the Omicron variant of the virus were confirmed from genome sequencing so far, the government has made relaxations for social and cultural gatherings, and government programmes in view of the Pongal festival.
This includes the five-day 25th National Youth Festival, scheduled to be inaugurated on January 12 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
No additional curbs have been announced yet to the December 30 circular, which extended the lockdown till midnight of January 31, thereby allowing social/cultural gatherings and government programmes, subject to compliance with strict COVID-19-appropriate behaviour by all, for Pongal, the ongoing 27th International Yoga Festival (January 4-7) and the upcoming youth festival.
The regular night curfew, which is in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., till the month-end has been exempted for places of worship for Vaikuntha Ekadasi on January 13, according to the circular.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Tuesday hinted that the government was considering imposing restrictions to check the spread of Omicron in Puducherry, during an inspection of the vaccination drive for teenagers at Soucilabai Government Girls Higher Secondary School.
Referring to the rise in cases across the country and in the Union Territory, she said, “There is a need to impose certain restrictions to avoid major spread of the virus. A decision on the curbs to be imposed will be taken in consultation with the Chief Minister.”