Sharmili Mallick

Amid the growing cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in Odisha, a joint enforcement squad of Commissionerate Police and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday conducted raids at several places and sealed many shops and markets that were found violating Covid-19 guidelines.

The enforcement squad reportedly sealed many eateries near Ram Mandir, food stalls at Khau Galli/Food Street, food court of Esplanade One Mall and several food stalls along Jagamar-New Airport Road, Siripur Market and Gopabandhu Square in the Capital City.

The  Commissionerate Police and BMC team also sealed a bar located at Patia under the North Zone of the city that was found flouting Covid protocols yesterday.

Purandar Nanda, Zonal Deputy Commissioner (North) said, “We found the eateries and bar running in gross violation of Covid protocols. Therefore, these places have been sealed for an indefinite period. The violators will have to submit an undertaking in this regard following which the Commissionerate Police and BMC will decide the further course of action.” 

“The BMC and the Commissonerate Police teams are raising awareness among people to avoid crowded places, wear masks and strictly follow all Covid behaviour. The State government has banned gathering from December 31 to January 2, and hence, there will be no New Year celebrations,” said an official of the Twin City Commissonerate Police.

The Odisha government had earlier banned congregation of people at public places, including tourist spots on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The government has also revived night curfew in urban areas and also closed several temples across the State from December 31 to January 2.

The BMC has also prohibited Zero Night Celebration, New Year welcome in hotels, restaurants, Clubs, Parks, Convention halls, Kalyan Mandaps and other such places from December 31 to January 2.

Picnics/Community feasts at public places have also been restricted by the civic body. Citizens have been advised to celebrate within their home premises with no mass gatherings by adhering to all Covid-appropriate behaviour.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)