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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: As Covid-19 cases continue to surge with every passing day in the State Capital, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to re-introduce its old but effective strategy to curb spread of the virus especially in crowded public places.

As per the latest announcement, the BMC has decided to strictly enforce the Covid-19 norms in markets and haats in different parts of the Capital from today.

Senior BMC officials said that commercial establishments and other shops will be sealed if social distancing norms are flouted. The use of masks will also be mandatory and violations would attract closure of the concerned institution.

Such norms as well as Covid-19 appropriate behavior will be strictly enforced at Dumduma, Patia, Damana, Unit-4, Unit-1, Unit-2 and other markets across Bhubaneswar.

All the Zonal Deputy Commissioners have been asked to ensure strict compliance of the Covid norms and other guidelines issued by the State government.

“Despite government stipulations, it is observed that proper social distancing is not being maintained in crowded market places, haats of Bhubaneswar like Unit-1 wholesale market and Unit-4 market,” said BMC in a notification.

BMC has also released fresh guidelines for operation of haats, markets from today.

– The Zonal Deputy Commissioners of BMC shall identify suitable places in consultation with the respective market associations and local ACP/IIC for conducting the markets/Haats at decentralized places for ease of the public as well as for their safety.

-The places identified during the 1st phase of the pandemic can be utilized this time again.

-The vendors should sit sufficiently apart so that social distancing norms are adhered by them as well as by the public.

-The Zonal DCs to undertake demarcations/barricading etc so that COVID norms can be followed properly.

-The Enforcement teams of BDA/BMC with the help of local police to ensure proper enforcement in periodic manner to ensure adherence to the guidelines.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Covid-19 graph is witnessing an upward surge in Odisha since the past few weeks. The single-day surge in Covid-19 cases in Odisha registered a big jump on Monday after 4,445 persons tested positive for the infection while four patients succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours.

Of the total 4,445 new Covid infection cases, highest 722 positive cases were reported from Sundargarh followed by Khordha (587) cases.

Senior BMC officials said efforts are on to increase the number of beds in various hospitals for effective treatment of Covid-19 patients in Bhubaneswar.

Neelachal, Hitech Covid hospitals have been made operational and Blue Wheel hospital will be activated for Covid-19 treatment from tomorrow. Similarly, provision of 500 beds will be made at KIIMS Covid hospital, informed BMC Commissioner, Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

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