Odisha extends Covid curbs for another month

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The Odisha government on Monday extended the Covid-19 guidelines issued for the month of January for another month, till February end, with little modifications.

Both the guidelines issued for Covid-19 and panchayat elections in the state will remain in force till February 28. Night curfew will continue to remain in force in all the urban areas of Odisha from 10 pm to 5 am, as per the order issued by Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), P.K. Jena.

All shops, malls, shopping complexes, markets/haats, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places can remain open across the state from 5 am to 10 pm every day.

During the night curfew period, home delivery of food, groceries, vegetables, egg, fish, meat, milk and other essential items by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, OPOLFED, OMFED, Chilika Fresh etc. have been allowed.

The SRC has also put restrictions on celebration of Saraswati Puja and Magha Saptami/Magha Purnima during the month of February.

Saraswati Puja can be observed with all rituals in the temples and religious places without the participation of devotees. The puja will be allowed in educational institutions with the participation of a limited number of students following Covid appropriate behaviour, Jena said in the order.

However, no Saraswati Puja will be allowed in public places other than in schools and educational institutions, he said.

No community feast associated with puja/festivals will be allowed during the period. There will be no musical or any other entertainment programmes on the occasion of Saraswati Puja, Jena added.

Large congregations at river banks, ghats, ponds, sea shore or near other water bodies to take bath on the occasion of Magha Saptami/Magha Purnima and on the following day have been prohibited across the state. However, the rituals can be performed inside temples without the participation of devotees.

All the state government-run offices will now operate with 100 per cent staff with strict adherence to Covid protocols.

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