Odisha SRC Asks All Dist Collectors, SPs To Tighten COVID-19 Norms, Issues Fresh Guidelines

Bhubaneswar: With States like Maharashtra reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government on Sunday asked all collectors to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) & Additional Chief Secretary to Government (Disaster Management) in a letter to all district collectors, SPs & Municipal commissioners, has said after a year-long fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the State has been able to substantially reduce the number of infections in the State. In view of the improved situation and keeping in view the livelihood of the people, the Government have in the meantime relaxed most of the restrictions and allowed the educational/ training institutions to open in a limit. way. This is, however, with the condition that the basic COVID-19 safety protocols shall be duly observed.

But, it is observed that peopIe at many places are showing complacency in observing the basic safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of mask or other face-covering while in public place, frequent hand-washing or use of hand sanitizer, maintaining a minimum one-meter physical distance, avoiding congregation, etc, the SRC mentioned in the letter.

Recently, in addition to detection of some cases with new variants of COVID-19 virus, a spike in number of new covid-19 cases has been observed in Maharashtra and some other States. At this juncture, we need to be very careful and ensure strict enforcement of the COVID-19 safety protocols by all in public places including workplaces to avoid any chance of resurgence of the disease in our State, the letter read.

In view of the above, you are directed to take the following immediate measures to ensure that the Covid-19 Guidelines/ safety protocols provisions are strictly followed at all levels:

1. District and Police Authorities shall check and ensure strict observance of COVID-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of mask, maintaining physical distancing in all public places including work places and educational institutions.

2. Public awareness through loudspeaker announcements is to be made frequently in all market places, haat and other places.

3. Concerned authorities of Government and private offices/ institutions including educational institutions shall be responsible for due compliance of the COVID-19 safety protocols in their respective establishments.

4. Large congregations must be avoided and wherever permission has been granted for marriages, other social/ religious functions, sports, entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ any other gathering/ congregations, compliance of the COVID-19 safety protocols, and crowd size in such gatherings shall be strictly monitored. Under no circumstances, persons more than the number permitted shall be entertained in all such gatherings.

5. Adequate and strict sanitation measures are to be maintained in schools, colleges, other educational institutions, and Anganwadi Centres. The teachers and concerned authorities shall ensure observance of COVID-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of mask, maintaining physical distancing and provision of thermal scanning & hand wash or use of sanitizer bY the students, teachers, staff and others.

6. Any person found with COVID-19 symptoms must be immediately reported to the nearest health institution and necessary further action be taken as per the advice of the health authorities.

7. Nothing other than the curricular activities shall be allowed in educational institutions.

8. Hotels, restaurants, dhabas and other places of public eating must be closely monitored by the police authorities so as to ensure strict compliance of physical distancing norms and other safety protocols.

9. Senior officers of the district administration will at different places/ institutions to ascertain and ensure Coed-19 safety protocol compliance. Persons violating the COVID-19 Guidelines/ Protocols may be Penalised under the relevant provisions of law.

10. Strong penal action shall be taken against the persons violating the COVID-19 Guidelines/ safety protocols. Shops and other commercial establishments found violating such norms may be sealed and action as per law be taken against such violators.

The district authorities have been asked to submit a weekly report on enforcement measures to the SRC every Monday.

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