Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to keep the Independence Day celebration a low-key affair. The government added that it won't be  organising a parade or march past this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The home department has written a letter to the district collectors stating the state government is in favour of discouraging large gatherings to contain the spread of the disease.

The letter added that around 50 to 75 guests may be invited to the celebrations on August 15 using e-invites.

"Only one or two police contingent to participate in the ceremony for offering compliments to the Chief Guest during the celebration. There will be no parade/march past," the letter said.

Those who are attending the function should also wear masks and other social distancing norms. Tree plantations and online essay/quiz contests may be held to mark the occasion.