Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government has imposed night curfew on the eve of New Year across the State, restricting large congregation of people in public places.
The restriction will remain in force from 10 pm on December 31 to 5 am of January 1.
However, all essential services and public communication have been exempted from curfew.
The additional chief secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradeep Jena informed the development through a tweet.
"Govt of Odisha imposing Night curfew from 10pm of tonight to 5AM tomorrow morning across the state. General public requested to cooperate. All essential services & movements are allowed to continue during curfew hours," he tweeted.
The government has barred any kind of celebratory events, congregations and gatherings at public places across the State.
Later at a press meet, Jena said that people usually do lot of enjoyment and merry making on the night of December 31 and the New Year. “In view of the global pandemic, there is a great need of taking adequate precautionary measures. So, the State Government has barred ' Zero Night' and New Year Celebration on December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021 at public places including hotels, clubs, mandaps and parks,” he said.
He further maintained that the spread of the global pandemic- Covid-19 has been restricted to some extent in Odisha due to cooperation of people. Though the number of positive cases has decreased marginally in the State, there is still fear of further outbreak of the virus, Jena added.
“Moreover, a new mutant strain of the Covid-19 has been detected recently, which is more contagious than the previous one as per experts' opinion. Keeping this in view, we all have to remain cautious until the pandemic completely ends,” the SRC said.
The government has advised the public to celebrate the New Year at homes with family members and friends, following all Covid-19 guidelines.
Similarly, the General Administration department has issued advisory directing all government officials to avoid crowd at their respective offices to exchange New Year wishes, Jena informed. “The officials and public mass are requested to exchange New Year wishes over telephone and through virtual mode, he added.
Earlier, some other States and cities including Mumbai and Delhi announced similar restrictions in their respective regions amid threat of mutant strain of Covid-19.
It is apprehended that large gatherings, congregations and public celebrations of New Year pose a considerable threat of spread of fresh strain.