Odisha Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for April
After a recent COVID-19 spike, the Odisha government has issued a fresh set of guidelines for April. These guidelines are made keeping in mind the upcoming by-elections at Pipili, and the series of festivals that are lined up in the upcoming days.
The guidelines will apply from April 1 to April 30 and allow the district authorities and the municipal corporations to enforce micro-containment zones as per the protocols mentioned by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Focusing on testing, tracking, and treatment, the action plan includes increasing the number of RT-PCR tests.
“Effective demarcation of containment zones in vulnerable and high incidence areas is key to breaking the chain of transmission and hence critical to containing the spread of the virus”, mentioned the circular.
The guidelines allow 200 people to gather for marriage and 50 at funerals. For political meetings associated with the by-elections in Pipili, the allowance is as permitted by the Election Commission of India/ Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha. Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, thermal scanning, and use of hand wash or sanitiser is made mandatory in political meetings.
The rest of the guidelines are as follows:
- The district administration, police, and municipal authorities should ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed
- In constricted spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons
- The District Magistrate and the District Election Officer/authorised officer are responsible for the strict enforcement of the conditions for holding the political meetings and other functions/gatherings in connection with the by-poll
- For the celebration of several social, religious, and cultural events, such as Utkal Divas, Good Friday, Ram Navami, Maha Bishuba Sankranti, Jhammu Jatra, and others in different parts of the state during the month, the congregation shall not be allowed in public throughout the state
- The religious rituals for all religions which are performed traditionally will be performed with a limited number of persons
- The official celebration of ‘Utkal divas’ will be conducted with a maximum of 200 people, and large gatherings throughout the state for the same is not allowed
- Covid-19 safety protocols like social distancing, use of masks, use of soap, and water/sanitiser will be strictly adhered to. Other activities during the day will be avoided