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Famous Hornbill Festival of Nagaland to kick start tomorrow

 

Kohima: The Nagaland government announced on Tuesday that the famed Hornbill Festival will begin on Wednesday, strictly adhering to Covid restrictions. The festival will be held after a gap of a year, considering the low positivity rate, less hospital occupancy and decrease in mortality.

 

The Hornbill Festival, which will continue till December 10, showcases the colourful tradition and cultural diversity of 17 Naga tribes. The main event will be held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, 12 km away from state capital Kohima. Other programmes, mainly adventure tourism, Naga style wrestling, cross-country race, will be spread across at least four districts. The major events will include the Hornbill Music Festival, Nagaland Literature Festival and Nagaland Film Festival, mountain biking, and the Hornbill Bamboo Festival. Governor Jagdish Mukhi will be the inaugural guest, while Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio will be the chief host for the opening ceremony at 4 pm on Wednesday. The festival will have three guests of honour- Ambassador of Israel to India, Consul Generals of the US and Germany to India.

 

Principal Director of Health Department Neikhrielie Khimiao said that elaborate arrangements have been made to check the spread of coronavirus during the ten-day Hornbill Festival in the state. He said that a medical team will be stationed at the main venue in Naga Heritage Village in Kisama with facilities for vaccination, screening and testing kits. Advisory has been issued for ensuring that mask is worn by all, visitors are vaccinated and hand wash points are set up at different locations, he added. He also appealed to the people attending the festival to follow the guidelines strictly.

 

Special Covid Care Management Centres are being set up in the three main entry points- Kohima, Dimapur and Mon and the Tourism Department has already been asked to screen incoming visitors. Khimiao said that any suspected sample from visitors during the festival would be directly sent for genome sequencing, amid fears of the omicron variant. He added that the coronavirus can be kept in check if the guidelines are strictly followed, but if the public becomes careless, a super-spreading event can take place.

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