Vikash Sharma

With focus on checking the spread of Covid-19 during the festive season, the Odisha Government on Thursday released the guidelines which will be in force for the month of October across the State.

As per the latest unlock guidelines issued by the State government, the restrictions mentioned in the guidelines for the month of September will remain in force till November 1, 2021.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), PK Jena while announcing the guidelines, said that night curfew restrictions will continue to remain in force in all urban areas across the State from 10 pm to 5 am. However, special night curfew restrictions have been clamped for the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in view of Durga Puja and other festivities.

As per SRC, the night curfew restrictions will come in force in these two cites from 8 pm to 5 am (instead of 10 pm to 5 am) for a period of 10 days, from October 11 to October 20.

All markets and other commercial establishments will be allowed to operate till 8 pm daily during these 10 days till October 20 in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

The local administration have been empowered to take appropriate measures to ensure full implementation of the order, Jena added. Earlier, the State government had issued a comprehensive guideline in the month of August, imposing a complete ban on the festivities and congregation to prevent further spread of Covid-19 in the State.

It is pertinent to mention here that the COVID-19 graph is on a declining trend with the State reporting less than 1000 cases on a daily basis for the past few weeks.

 According to Jena, people usually congregate with family and friends during such festive celebrations, defying the Covid protocols. The Centre has already urged State governments in the country to observe all the previous guidelines during the festive season in the next two to three months.

“We have decided to comply with the Centre’s advice,” he said. “In coming weeks, if people in the country and State follow Covid appropriate behaviour and protocols including wearing of masks, social distancing and hand hygiene, we can win this war against Covid-19,” Jena added.