Odisha Issues Fresh COVID-19 Guidelines For March; Details Inside

Bhubaneswar: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha Government has issued fresh guidelines for the month of March 2021 to tackle the pandemic.

Accordingly, the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha, in a notification, said: “In pursuance of the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (GoI) vide Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 26.02.2021 for surveillance, containment and caution with regard to COVID-19, the State Government do hereby direct that the following guidelines shall be in force in the State of Odisha from March 1st to 31st, 2021.”

Surveillance and Containment

  • Local Authorities i e , District Collector/ Municipal Commissioner shall carefully demarcate the containment zones in accordance with the guidelines of MoHFW, Government of India/ H&FW Department, Government of Odisha. The Containment Zones will be notified by the respective District Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners and information will be shared with MoHFW. The notification shall be uploaded by the District Collector and by the State on their websites.
  • Containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFW, Government of India/ H&FW Department, Government of Odisha, shall be scrupulously followed in the containment zones.
  • Awareness shall be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Regulation of activities in areas outside the Containment Zones

Large gatherings, congregations shall continue to be prohibited. Social/ religious/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural functions and gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons subject to the following conditions:

  • In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the above ceiling.
  • In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, within the ceiling prescribed above, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norms.
  • Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
  • Permission for such functions/ gatherings shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.

Marriage, funeral/ last rites related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons, subject to the following conditions:

  • In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the above ceilings.
  • In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, subject to the above ceilings, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm.
  • Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
  • The host of the marriage/ funeral function shall make necessary arrangement for checking at the entry point and ensure wearing of mask by the guests/ others during the entire duration of their participation. Host shall make arrangement to provide masks to those who have not come with appropriate mask.

The Guidelines issued by the State Government vide Order No.4014/R&DM(DM) dated 06.07.2020 read with No.139/R&DM(DM) dated 12.01.2021 (Annexure-I) for marriage and funeral related functions during COVID-19 pandemic shall be strictly followed with the above modifications.

Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) exhibitions shall be allowed in exhibition halls with participants/ visitors up to 50% of the hall capacity complying with the COVID-19 safety protocols. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed at any point of time so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm. Permission for such exhibitions shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.

All Medical Colleges of the State have been allowed to reopen with effect from 15th December, 2020. Medical College Authorities shall follow all the SOPs/Guidelines with respect to so., distance, and prevention of spread of epidemic issued by Central/ State Government, scrupulously.

The Department of School & Mass Educator, ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department/ Social Sect,. &Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities authorised to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of re-0Mo, of schools and hostels under its control/ superintendence/ supervision in respect of classes from 9th to 12th Standard in a graded manner observing necessary Guidelines/SOP developed for the purpose. The Department shall further develop detailed SoP for the primary schools and decide on opening of such schools with approval of Government.

Government in School and Mass Education Department has allowed physical classes for Standard 9 and Standard 11. Considering the present situation, the School & Mass Education Department may allow conduct e intraschool class promotion examination for 9th and 11- Standards giving the option of online examination to the students with consent of their parents/ guardians. The Department of Higher Education is authorized to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of re-open, of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions and Hostels under Its control/ superintendence/ supervision by follow, the Guidelines/ SOP issued by the Department/ UGC/ AICTE/ Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The Department of Skill Development and Technical Education is authorised to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of re-opening of Engineering Colleges and other Technical Education/ Skill Development Institutions and Hostels under its control/ superintendence/ supervision in a graded manner in compliance with the Guidelines; SOP issued by the Department/ UGC/ AICTE/ Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Notwithstanding closure of Academy, Technical/ Skill Development Institutions, the follow,s mil be permitted.

  • Conduct of examinations (including academic, competitive and entrance tests), evaluation and other administrative activities
  • Online/ distance learning shall continue to be Permitted and shall be encouraged. The concerned department may permit teach, and non-teach, staff to be called to the School/ College/ Institution for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work, in areas outside the Containment Zones only as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Education/ Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), GoI.
  • All training activities including skill and profess oral development.
  • Anganwadi Centres have been allowed to function with effect from 1° February, 2021.

Local Authority i.e., District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner are authorised to permit public worship in religious places/ places of worship with appropriate restrictions, based on local assessment of the situation with regard to spread of COVID-19 and in due consultation with relevant stakeholders, with observance of COVID-19 safety protocol.

Cinema Halls/Theatres/Entertainment Parks shall be allowed to open and operate as per SOP issued/ to be issued by the Government of India/ State Government in that regard.

Open Air Theatres/ Jatras /Operas shall be permitted by the local authorities (District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner or any other officer authorized) subject to compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of face masks, physical distancing, provision of thermal scanning, etc.Keeping the size of the ground/ space in view, appropriate number of persons (subject to a ceiling of 2000 persons)will be allowed ensuring maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm i.e., maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other and the seating arrangement shall be made accordingly. Persons with Influenza like Infection (ILI)/ Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI)/ COVID-19 like symptoms shall not be allowed. As far as possible, facility for online booking of tickets may be arranged by the organizers and sufficient number of counters shall be opened to prevent crowding during physical booking of tickets. Facility of advance booking online as well as through counters may also be organized. The organizers shall be responsible for due compliance of these norms/ conditions. xiii.

Opening and use of Swimming Pools shall be as per the SOP issued/ to be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Gol.

International air travel of passengers shall be as decided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation/ Ministry of Home Affairs, Gol.

Subject to other provisions of this order, activities that are not specifically prohibited/ regulated/ restricted above are allowed subject to adherence to safety and health protocols and SOPs/ guidelines issued by appropriate authorities.

 General Directives for COVID-19 Management

The following General Directives for COVID- 19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:

  • Face coverings/ Masks: Wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and in public transport (Annexure-II).
  • Physical distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places.
  • Shops and Commercial Establishments will ensure physical distancing and use of face cover/ mask by employees and customers. The onus of compliance to the guideline lies with the owner of the shop/ commercial establishment, who shall be liable for any violation which may lead to penal action including closure/ sealing of the premises.
  • Salons, Spas, Beauty Parlours and Barber shops shall ensure all safety precautions, disinfection and sanitization before and after service of each customer. The onus of compliance to the guideline lies with the owner, who shall be liable for any violation, which may lead to penal action including closure/ sealing of the premises.
  • Spitting in public place will be punishable with fine, as prescribed in accordance with laws, rules or regulations (Annexure-III).
  • Save as permitted by the Excise Department, consumption of liquor in public place is prohibited.
  • Consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in public place is prohibited.

Movement of persons and goods

  • There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons, private vehicles and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Permitted activities to be performed following prescribed SOPs

  • Activities allowed/ to be allowed under these Guidelines shall be performed in accordance with appropriate Guidelines/ SOPs issued by the Central/ State Government from time to time. Web-link/ URL of some of these SOPs issued by the Government of India are available at Annexure-IV.

Safety and Protection of vulnerable persons

The following categories of people are advised against outdoor movement, except for essential and health purposes.

  • Persons above 65 years of age
  • persons with co-morbidities
  • pregnant women
  • children below the age of 10 years

Use of AarogyaSetu

  • Use of AarogyaSetu may continue on best efforts basis on compatible mobile phones. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk. With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, employers on best effort basis should ensure that AarogyaSetu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones.

Strict enforcement of the guidelines

  • All the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall strictly enforce the above measures.

Penal provisions

Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulations issued thereunder besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable. Extracts of these penal provisions are at Annexure-V.

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