BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Government imposed night curfew on the eve of New Year prohibiting congregations in public places across the State in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and growing concern over the new highly infectious SARS-CoV2 strain.
According to a notification, the restriction will remain in force from 10 pm on Thursday to 5 am on Friday. All shops, business establishments, offices, and institutions will remain closed and the movement of people not allowed during the period.
The decision has been taken in view of the Covid-19 pandemic & the new UK SARS-CoV2 strain. However, all essential services and movement of officials, people on emergency duty, and media persons have been allowed.
The restriction will not apply to police, fire services, armed forces on duty, people engaged in healthcare services, media persons, the staff of IT and ITeS companies, telecom services, water supply, sanitation and sewerage workers, any person needing emergency health check-up and movement of public and private
transport to and from airports and railway stations.
The State Government had already prohibited gatherings in public places for the new year celebrations on Thursday and Friday across the State to prevent the virus from speeding further.
The congregation in public places including hotels, restaurants, clubs, parks, convention halls, and Kalyan mandaps for welcoming the New Year and similar other functions have been restricted.
"Usually there is the movement of people in large numbers for celebration of the new year during December 31 night. If the mass congregation is allowed, it will be detrimental to containment and prevention of the spread of Covid-19 infections," stated the order.
The General Administration and Public Grievances department have also asked the government employees to avoid group movement or congregations on New Year day. They have been advised to use virtual mediums for conveying new year greetings to colleagues and seniors on office premises.
The State has recorded 315 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths during the last 24 hours taking the tally to 3,29,621 and the death toll to 1873. Even as the cases in cities like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are under control, new clusters are emerging in rural parts of the State.
Cuttack district registered a maximum of 41 fresh cases, followed by 40 in Balangir, 26 each in Sambalpur and Nuapada, 24 in Khurda, and 20 in Angul. The Cuttack district administration has declared Kukudia gram panchayat under Narasinghapur block as a containment zone after the detection of 18 new cases.