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Suryakant Jena

The Odisha government on Friday announced to close the two famous planetariums in the State for the public from January 10 in view of the surging cases of Covid-19.

As per the announcement, the Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Planetarium in Sambalpur, and a museum dedicated to the legendary astronomer Pathani Samanta at Khandapada in Nayagarh will remain closed for tourists and visitors from Monday as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID cases especially its new variant Omicron.

All the three facilities will remain out of bounds for the public until further orders, said official sources. 

On Friday, the authorities of Puri Jagannath Temple also declared to enforce 'No Entry' of people into the shrine from Monday as part of its move to keep the temple free from virus and provide safety to servitors in continuing the rituals of the Lords as per the schedule. 

While the Odisha government has already shut down schools upto standard 12th from today, all colleges and universities (except those coming under Health Department) in the State will also be closed from January 10. 

With an ever-increasing likelihood of a rise in the virus cases in the coming days, the Odisha government has left it to the respective district administration to take decisions in their own jurisdictions to enforce restrictions at public places like zoos, major religious and historic sites and other sight-seeing destinations which generally witness huge crowd during the winter festive season.

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