Odisha Issues Unlock Guidelines For October; Fire Crackers Banned During Festive Month

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Bhubaneswar: In view of the festive month across the state, the Odisha Government on Thursday imposed some restrictions upon celebration of Puja and festivities in its unlock guidelines for October.

Addressing a presser, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Odisha, PK Jena said that in order to protect the health of public and preventing spread of COVID-19 along with normalising the economic activities, the stipulations for graded unlocking issued by the state government in August 31st stands extended till 5 AM of 1st November.

“There will be graded unlocking across the state from 5 AM of Oct 1 till Nov 1. The night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will continue in all urban areas across Odisha during October. However, in the Twin City of  Bhubaneswar & Cuttack, the night curfew timing has been revised to 8 PM to 5 AM during Oct 11th-20th,” SRC PK Jena said.

There will be no Weekend Shutdown across the state and during the unlock period all types of shops, malls, will remain open from 5 AM to 10 PM every day. However, in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack shops, malls will remain open from 5 AM to 8 Pm from Oct 11 to 20th, the SRC added.

Jena further informed that the sale and use of firecrackers will remain prohibited during the festive month in order to protect the health of the general public and to curb COVID-19 infection.

The Odisha SRC further stated that all religious festivals and functions should be held as per the orders of the government issued in August. However, considering local conditions, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners, Police Commissioner of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may impose appropriate restrictions on the entry of devotees into religious institutions.

The District authorities may also decide the number of persons to attend any such religious festivals in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour and other precautionary norms.

The Odisha SRC today said: “This is a critical period and there may be a tendency to ignore COVID-safe behaviour during festivals, resulting in large gatherings, events, fairs etc. It is critical to enforce adherence to guidelines to allow festivities in a cautious, safe, and COVID appropriate manner.”

Any laxity in implementation of COVID Appropriate Behaviour could lead to serious consequences and can result in a surge of COVID019 cases, he added.

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