Bhubaneswar: With the surge in COVID-19 caseload and detection of more Omicron cases in the state in the past 72 hours, Odisha government Wednesday decided to extend the night curfew in towns by an hour and stopped physical classes up to standard twelve.
The new restrictions will be effective from 5 am of January 7 till 5 am of February 1, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said.
The night curfew will now be imposed from 9 pm to 5 am in all urban areas of the state instead of from 10 pm to 5 am. Only essential activities will be allowed during night curfew, he said.
The new guidelines have been announced after the daily COVID-19 cases surged past the 1000 mark for the first time in almost five months, the SRC announced.
Jena said that the spread of Omicron is three times faster than the Delta variant and in the last four to five days Odisha has witnessed a surge in positive cases.
“It seems, a new wave of COVID-19 has begun in Odisha”, he said.
The government capped the number of guests at weddings and thread ceremony at 100. Only 30 people can participate in the ‘baraat’, Jena said.
Both government and private offices will run with 50 per cent capacity and there will be no physical classes up to standard 12. Online classes will, however, continue and also the matric assesment examination.
The SRC in an order said that a maximum of 100 people will be allowed to participate in government official meetings or training programmes.
Cinema halls can run with 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 remian open till 9 pm, it said.
‘Jatra’ and open air theatres can have only 1000 spectators adhering to the COVID-19 protocol but no cultural events or trade fairs will be allowed, the order 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 any hotel, park and other public places.
The SRC said that in case of any violation of guidelines at any mall and shop, the owner will be held responsible and as per the Pandemic Act the concerned outlet will be shut down for seven days.
Strict action will be taken against picnics in public and tourist places.