BHUBANESWAR: Taking a cautious approach to the upcoming festivals, the State government on Thursday advanced the night curfew in Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack by two hours for 10 days from October 11 to 20. This has been done keeping in mind the upcoming Durga Puja commencing from October 11 with Sasthi puja, followed by Laxmi Puja. These festivals are celebrated with pomp and grandeur in both cities.
Announcing the Covid-19 guidelines for the month of October, Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena said, “With a view to protecting the health of the public and preventing large gatherings during the festivities, night curfew shall be imposed from 8 pm to 5 am from October 11 to October 20 in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Night curfew will continue in all other urban areas as usual from 10 pm to 5 am.”
Though there has been a steady fall in the number of Covid cases in the State, Jena said the Centre has advised against any laxity as infection is on the rise in some states. “This is a critical period as there may be a tendency to ignore Covid-safe behaviour during festivals, resulting in large gatherings, events, fair etc. It is critical to enforce adherence to guidelines to allow festivities in a cautious, safe and Covid appropriate manner. Any laxity in implementation of Covid appropriate behaviour could lead to serious consequences,” Jena said, quoting the latest advisory from the Ministry of Health.
He said all religious festivals and social functions will be observed as per the August 9 order of the government. However, sale and use of firecrackers during festivals have been prohibited. The SRC further said that instructions for Covid unlocking as notified on August 31, 2021 has been extended till November 1, 2021.