BHUBANESWAR: Apprehensive of a second COVID-19 wave during winter, the State government on Monday adopted a cautious approach by prohibiting large gatherings and congregations till December 31 under its Unlock 7 guidelines.
However, it authorised the School and Mass Education department to take a call on the date of reopening of schools for students of Class IX to XII in a graded manner after consultation with stakeholders. Earlier, government had announced that schools will remain shut till December 31.
While medical colleges will reopen from December 1, all academic, technical and skill development institutions would remain closed till December 31 or till a date is decided by the departments concerned.
Business to business (B2B) exhibitions in halls have been allowed with participants up to 50 per cent of the hall capacity and a ceiling of 100 persons subject to compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols. But business to customer (B2C) exhibitions, melas and similar functions such as Toshali Craft Mela and Sisir Saras are prohibited.
Even as a date on reopening of religious places or places of worship has not been decided yet, the guidelines stated that district collector and municipal commissioners may permit public worship at such places with adherence to COVID-19 guidelines after assessing the situation.
Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain closed. All anganwadi centres will remain shut till December 31 and existing arrangement for supply of ration to the beneficiaries will continue.
The State government continued with its earlier guidelines on weddings and funerals. Marriage related gathering will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons. Funeral and last rites related gathering will be permitted with an upper limit of 50 persons.
The district collectors will have to take a decision on the number of persons to be allowed in marriages keeping the local situation in mind.
Conduct of examinations
Universities, research institutes can open to allow research, lab work by students
B2B exhibition in exhibition halls with 50 per cent hall capacity
Inter/Intra-State movement of people, vehicles, goods
Anganwadi centres, academic, technical institutions (except medical colleges)
Large social, political, sports, cultural, religious gatherings not allowed till December 31
Exhibition, melas prohibited
Cinema halls, swimming pools, theatres, auditoriums
Masks key against COVID-19: IIT study
BHUBANESWAR: Mask combined with social distancing is key to check spread of Covid-19, suggests a study carried out at IIT Bhubaneswar.
The study conducted by Assistant Professor of School of Mechanical Science Venugopal Arumuru, and his team at the institute highlights that the protective measures such as mask and face shield effectively reduce the reach of small droplets within 1ft to 3ft.
However, social distancing is equally important as masks do not completely stop the leakage of smaller droplets. The study recommends using the elbow or hand to prevent droplets leakage even after wearing a mask during coughing and sneezing. "A social distancing of 6 ft from all orientations is essential to prevent transmission of COVID-19," it said.
The findings confirm that without protective measures, the smaller droplets expelled during a sneeze can travel up to 25 ft in 22 seconds in a stagnant environment. The peer-reviewed article has been selected as a 'featured article' in Physics of Fluids Journal by the American Physical Society.