Odisha issues guidelines for April; check what’s allowed, what’s not

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government directed District Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to demarcate the containment zones at micro level in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

While issuing the guidelines for the month of April, the State government stated the containment zones will be notified by the respective Collectors and Municipal Commissioners and directed them to share the information with MoHFW. The notification will be uploaded by the District Collector and by the State on their websites.

The State government guidelines comes into effect from April 1, 2021 till April 30, 2021.

The guidelines asked the officials to carry out testing as per the prescribed protocol. The proportion of RT-PCR tests in the total mix should be scaled up to the extent possible, it read.

The District/ Municipal Authorities/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack were asked to ensure strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour, such as use of face masks, maintaining physical distancing and hand hygiene. The guideline further stated crowd shall be regulated in all busy market places, weekly haats, public transport and other places. Any violation and non-compliance of Ministry of Home Affairs and State Government directives and guidelines shall be strictly dealt with.

Large gatherings, congregations will continue to be prohibited. Social/religious/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural functions and gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons.

However, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed in closed spaces subject the limit of 200 persons.

In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed within the ceiling to ensure maintenance of physical distancing norms.

In view of the bye-election to Pipili Assembly on April 17, political meetings and other functions and gatherings will be allowed within the jurisdiction of the said Assembly seat only subject to the following conditions:

a. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

b. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, the Puri district administration shall give permission for gathering for such number of persons as would be appropriate ensuring strict observance of physical distancing norms.

In view of celebration of social, religious and cultural events, such as, Utkal Divas, Good Friday, Ram Navami, Maha Bishuba Sankranti, Jhammu Jatra in different parts of the State during April, the following guidelines shall be strictly followed:

a. Congregation for celebration of the festivals and associated religious and cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the State.

b. Religious rituals in churches/ temples/ places of worship including in places where such rituals are performed traditionally will continue as usual with limited number of persons as permitted by the District Collector/ Municipal Commissioner or any authorized officer with strict adherence to Covid protocols.

c. Large congregation for celebration of `Utkal Divas’ and associated cultural programmes shall not be allowed throughout the State.

d. The official meeting/ celebration Of Utkal Divas shall be made with a maximum of 200 participants.

e. Other organizations and private institutions shall observe `Utkal Divas’ and related activities with prior approval from the local administration.

f. The Departments/ Collectors shall issue instructions to the field offices for observance of the Utkal Divas with the above ceiling and with strictly adherence to COVID- 19 safety protocols.

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