Odisha Issues Fresh Guidelines For Containment Of COVID-19 Spread

Bhubaneswar: With a view to ensuring strict social distancing and isolation to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha Government today issued fresh guidelines to be followed across the state.

The Office of Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Odisha has issued fresh guidelines to keep COVID-19 infection at bay. These fresh norms will remain effective till 30th April, 2021.

Following are the stipulations:

A. Night Cufew

Night Curfew shall be imposed in the districts of Sundar.garh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nawrangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri from 6.00 PM to 5.00 AM everyday starting from 6.00 PM of 17.04.2021.

However, Night curfew shall be in force in at urban areas of other districts of the State, from 9 PM to 5 AM everyday from  9 PM of 17th April.

District Collectors/Municipal Commissioners and Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall issue orders for their respective jurisdictions, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under section L44 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.

However, during the night curfew, restrictions shall not apply to the following:

  • District and Municipal Administration/ Police/ Government Officials on duty
  • Doctors, Medical/ Paramedical Staff (Govt. & private)
  • All Emergency Services and Utilities such as Electricity, Telecom, Water Supply and
  • Sanitation ahd Sewerage services and movement of vehicles and staff
  • Staff of IT & ITeS Companies on production their ID cards
  • Any person, in case of medical or other emergency
  • Owner/ staff of chemist shops
  • All industrial units
  • All construction activities
  • Movement of public transpott, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stanas/ stops, for facilitating movement of passengers by air, rail and road
  • Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel
  • Dhabas along National and state Highways/ Major roads for takeaway only
  • Petrol pumps and CNG Stations
  • Print and Electronic Media identified by Commissionerate/ District police

B. Weekend shutdown

In the interest of public health and containment of spread of Covid-19 in the State, Weekend shutdown on Saturday and Sunday shatt be imposed in at urban areas of the districts of Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri from April 17th.

During the weekend shutdown all activities shall be closed except the following:

  • All medical establishments including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, including medicine stores, movement of Ambulance and all medical personnel.
  • District and Municipal Administration/ police/ Fire Services
  • Central & State Government officials on emergency duty
  • Telecom services
  • Petrol pumps
  • LPG distribution, home delivery of cooking gas and associated facilities, associated personnel and vehicular movement
  • Print and Electronic Media identified by Ccommissionerate/ District police
  • Water Supply, sanitation and sewerage workers
  • Electricity supply and distribution
  • Movement of goods and goods carriers, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Industrial establishments, factories and construction activities
  • Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Services and allied activities, including procurement at Mandis
  • Service sector industries, including ITl ITeS, Hotel & Hospitality units. Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel
  • Movement of rail and air transport
  • Road transport on highways, road movement of transiting vehicles
  • Movement of Public Transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stands/ stops, for facilitating movement of passengers by air, rail & road
  • Marriages and Funerals, with permission of local authority
  • ATMs and critical financial institutions like RBI, Clearing Houses
  • Operations of Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Terminals and their associated offices, movement of associated personnel and activities
  • Home Delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and essential items by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, etc.
  • Dhabas along National and State Highways/ Major roads for takeaway only
  • Milk booths and related activities
  • Food & Grocery stores such as Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Chilika Fresh and others for home delivery only
  • Newspaper hawkers between 5.00 am to 8.00 am only.

General guidance during Night Curfew and Weekend Shutdowns:

No pass would be required for movement of above category of persons. Valid Travel documents/ authorisations such as airline/ railway/bus tickets/ boarding passes, with any identity proof shall be adequate for the purpose. Identity cards issued by appropriate authorities of the establishments shall serve as pass for effecting movement of employees of ‘establishments under permitted activities. Patients and their attendants/ persons requiring emergency need for movement shall be allowed to move with minimal proof of their emergencies. Officers/ staff on duty shall be sensitized to appreciate the situation of persons on the road and take suitable action to facilitate movement on emergency needs.

C. Education

All Schools under the control/ superintendence/ supervision of Government of Odisha, shall remain closed with effect from 19.04.2021 until further orders. School and Mass Education Department will bring out detailed orders to this effect. However online classes may be conducted wherever feasible. All hostels shall also remain closed with effect from 19.04.2021 No Students shall be allowed to stay in Hostel under any circumstances.

Physical, Theory, and Practical classes and examinations in all Higher Educational Institutions under the control/superintendence/ supervision of Government of Odisha, shall remain closed with effect from 19.04.2021. Students shall be advised to avoid staying in the hostel in the interest of their personal health. All such institutions shall take online classes in order to complete the syllabus in time. Higher Education Department will bring out further detailed guidelines if any.

All technical/ professional institutions under the jurisdiction of Skill Development and Technical Education Department, including the ITIs/ Polytechnics/ Diploma Colleges/ Technical Colleges and Universities, shall be closed with effect from 19.04.2021. The classes for all courses shall be conducted online. SD&TE Department shall further take appropriate decision regarding timing and mode of examination. However, all ongoing offline Diploma examinations, which shall be concluded on 26th April,2O2l shall be allowed to continue as per programme by complying to Covid appropriate behaviour. All Hostels/Residential Accommodations of Technical Educational Institutions shall remain closed w.e.f 19.04.2021 Students shall be motivated not to stay in the hostel in the interest of their personal health. However, scholars, researchers and students who desire to stay in hostel for research/ project works or other academic activities may be permitted for the same upon giving undertaking and subject to approval by appropriate authorities of the concerned institutions. Skill Development and Technical Education Department will bring out further detailed guidelines, if any.

The Authorities of Schools/ Colleges/ Higher/ Technical Educational Institutions shall take all appropriate measures for conducting classes through online mode to complete the syllabus.

Teaching and non-teaching employees of Schools/ Higher/ Technical Educational Institutions shall work as per prevailing guidelines for government servants and perform duty such as taking online classes/ academic/semi-academic and administrative functions etc. as assigned to them by the Authorities.

Coaching Institutions/ Organisations/ Individuals offering coaching services to students shall not run off-line/ physical coaching from 17.04.2021. However, virtual/online coaching shall be permitted to continue.

D. Social

  • Marriage, funeral last rites related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 50 and 20 persons respectively w.e.f 19.04.2021, subject to the following conditions:
  • No marriage procession shall be allowed.
  • Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer shall be mandatory.
  • The host of the marriage/ funeral function shall make necessary arrangements 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 masks.

E. Religious/Social/Cultural/Political/Academic

  • No Social/Cultural/Political/Religious/Academic meetings/congregations shall be allowed. All these activities are to be encouraged to be conducted on virtual mode.
  • No rallies/ Processions of any sort shall be allowed.
  • Religious rituals in temples/ churches/ Mosques/ places of worship shall be permitted with limited number of priests and staff adhering to Covid safety protocols. As regards to entry of devotees into such religious places, District Magistrates may, looking into the prevailing situation in the district and in consultation with relevant stakeholders,impose any further restrictions as deemed proper.
  • Other social functions shall be avoided.

F. Commercial

  • Haats and Markets including fish markets shall be decentralized and allowed to operate with minimum 30 feet distance from shop to shop. The shopkeepers and the buyers shall mandatorily abide by the Covid safety protocols like social distancing, use of mask. The local authorities shall demarcate areas for this purpose. Any violation of COVID-19 protocols will attract closure/ sealing/ cancellation of license of the concerned shops.
  • Restaurant/ Bars/ Pubs shall run with 50o/o of the capacity and in due compliance of Covid protocols.
  • All Restaurant/ Bars/ Pubs/ Food joints shall close by 9 P.M.
  • Street Food Vendors shall adhere Covid protocols like social distancing and use of mask. Any deviation / non-compliance shall entail criminal action and penalty as per law and may make such unit liable for sealing/ closure and suspension/cancellation of trade license.

G. Transport

  • All Interstate bus services shall be suspended w.e.f 04.2021,
  • Intra -State buses shall run with seating capacity only. No standing passengers shall be allowed.
  • Taxi/Cab/Auto-rickshaw shall be allowed to operate with driver and two passengers.

H. Entertainment

  • Cinema Halls/theatres are allowed to operate with up to 50% of the hall capacity with strict adherence to wearing of mask and physical distancing during the entire period of the show.
  • Entertainment parks/ Amusement parks / Merry-go-round (Doli) / Meena bazaar and related activities are allowed to operate within the ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of masks, maintaining social .distancing and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory
  • Jatra/ opera/ open air theatres shall be allowed to operate within the ceiling of 1000 persons. Wearing of masks, strict maintenance of social distancing of 6 feet and provision of thermal scanning & use of handwash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
  • The COVID protocols shall be strictly observed by the organisers of such facilities. Any violation of COVID-19 protocols shall attract closure, sealing and cancellation of license.
  • Permission for operation of above facilities/ gatherings shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.
  • District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners may impose any further restrictions in the interest of general health of the public.

I. Functioning of Offices

Govt. Offices: Govt. offices shall function as pernotification issued by GA&PG Department, Govt. of Odisha.

Banks and FIs: Banks and Financial Institutions shall function with reduced manpower. Staffs may be encouraged to Work from Home, to the extent feasible.

Private Offices: Private offices shall operate with reduced manpower and as far as feasible, adopt Work from Home (WFH) practice.

Obligation of Heads of Offices: All offices, Government and Private, must ensure adherence to the SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices issued by Department of H&FW, Government of Odisha.

Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial & commercial establishments.

Screening & hygiene: Provision for thermal screening, hand wash and sanitizer will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.

Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles, etc., will be ensured, including between shifts.

Physical distancing: All persons in charge of workplaces will ensure adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.

J. Strict enforcement of the guidelines

All the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall strictly enforce the above measures. District Magistrates/Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may, looking into the prevailing situation, order additional restrictions as deemed appropriate.

K. 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 1BB of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.

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