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Vikash Sharma

In a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and its highly contagious new variant ‘Omicron’, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday announced closure of all religious institutions till January 2, 2022.

As per a notification issued by BMC, all religious institutions like temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches will remain closed for public from December 31, 2021 (tomorrow) to January 2, 2022, within BMC jurisdiction.

The decision has been taken to protect the health and safety of the public, the BMC order read. However, all rituals will be performed by servitors amid strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols.

Meanwhile, five more persons tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19, taking the tally of the new variant cases to 14 in Odisha, informed the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) on Thursday.

Along with the BMC, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has also clamped restrictions for all religious institutions, in the wake of the spread of the Omicron variant infection, for a period of three days, starting from tomorrow.

Here are the CMC guidelines:

- No devotee shall be allowed inside any religious institutions like Temples/Mosques/Gurudwara/Churchs etc. 

- The usual religious rituals in Temples/Mosques/Guruwaras/Churches and other places of worships will be conducted with limited numbers of priests/staffs.

- The religious institutions' management committees shall make provisions for daily thermal screening of priests/staffs before entry inside the premises. The committee shall also ensure provisions of hand washing at entry point for the priests and staff.

-The priests/staffs on rituals duty shall have to wear masks appropriately at all times and they shall also maintain social distancing guidelines while inside the institution premises. 

- All previous orders issued by CMC in this regard are superseded accordingly.

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