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Amid surge in Covid cases, Odisha govt imposes more restrictions


Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 5 (IANS) Amid rapid surge in Covid-19 cases including the Omicron cases in the state, the Odisha government has imposed additional restrictions and ordered closure of schools to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena has announced the new guidelines of the state government that will come into effect from January 7 (5 a.m.) and continue till February 1 (5 a.m.).

Jena said all schools and colleges up to class 12 will remain closed. However, all such educational institutions are encouraged to organise online video methods of teaching and learning for class 10 and 12 students.

The educational institution can organise doubt clearing classes in small batches with consent of parents by observing the due Covid protocols. All examinations including the summative examinations will continue, Jena said. All Anganwadi Centres will also remain closed, he added.

Night curfew will be imposed in all urban areas of the state from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day. There shall be no movement of vehicles except for exigencies on production of proper evidence, the SRC said.

Malls and shopping complexes will have to operate with a reduced number of customers. The mall owner will have to ensure that persons entering malls are thoroughly screened for temperature, correct use of masks and physical distance, he further said.

As per the guidelines, the food court and food plaza will also remain open for take away only. All large social, religious gatherings will remain prohibited. However, political, sports, academic functions and gatherings will be allowed with a ceiling of 100 persons subject to certain conditions.

"No rallies, processions, demonstrations, dharanas, strikes of any sort will be allowed except for individuals not exceeding 5 persons coming to handover petitions/memorandum, if any," read the order issued by the SRC.

Similarly, exhibitions, trade fairs, expo and melas have also been prohibited in the State. Physical business to business meetings are also prohibited.

No picnic in parks, nature clubs, beaches and other picnic/tourist spots will be allowed. No cultural and dance programmes of any sort shall be organised in hotels, parks, malls, convention centres and Kalyan Mandaps, it said.

No educational institutions can organise excursions or picnics till the end of January 2022. Annual Day celebration/ anniversary of any sort in the pretext of any reason will also not be allowed in any public places, hotels, clubs, Kalyan Mandaps, parks, grounds, etc.

Marriages, thread ceremony and related gatherings with approval from local authorities will be allowed with a ceiling of 100 persons while maximum 50 participants will be allowed for funerals, last rites and related events.

Haats and Markets including fish markets will be decentralised and allowed to operate with a minimum 30 feet distance from shop to shop. Hotels, restaurants, dhabas, bars and pubs are allowed to dine in up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity with compliance of Covid-19 safety protocols till 9 pm.

Similarly, all gymnasiums, spas, beauty parlour, saloons are allowed to open subject to time schedule. Auditoriums, assembly halls and similar facilities are allowed to open up to 50 per cent of capacity.

Meanwhile, cinema halls, theatres, multiplexes, in closed places are allowed to open with up to 50 per cent of capacity. Zoological Parks, Nandankanan Zoo, Botanical Garden and archaeological/historical monuments owned by the government will also remain open. However, online booking tickets for entry into the places are mandatory.



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