Bhubaneswar: Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena Friday said that all colleges, universities and technical educational institutions in the state except medical colleges operating under Odisha government will remain closed from January 10.
Hostels of these institutions will also remain closed from January 10. However, the ongoing offline examinations will continue as scheduled earlier.
Earlier in the day, engineering students at the Silicon Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar protested against physical classes and examinations being conducted. They demanded that classes and examinations should be conducted online keeping in mind the Covid situation in the Odisha capital.
It may be noted here that the 9pm-5am night curfew will come into effect across all urban areas of the state starting today. The new restrictions will be effective from 5 am of January 7 till 5 am of February 1.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to reduce the staff strength in offices for the month of January. All government departments will function with employee strength of 50% while recruiting institutions like the Odisha Public Service Commission, will operate with 75 per cent of staff strength.
The SRC in an order early this week had said that a maximum of 100 people will be allowed to participate in government official meetings or training programmes.
Cinema halls can run with a maximum 50 per cent capacity. Likewise, hotels and bars will be allowed to operate with 50 per cent of their seating capacity and along with roadside vendors can remain open till 9 pm, it said.
‘Jatra’ and open-air theatres can have only 1,000 spectators adhering to the COVID-19 protocol but no cultural events or trade fairs will be allowed, the order had said. In small shops and roadside outlets, a maximum of five people should be allowed to stand at a time.
The government has also banned any kind of socio-religious and cultural events at hotels, parks and other public places.
Odisha Friday registered its biggest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases in six months with 2,703 people testing positive for the virus.