COVID-19 Norms For April: Odisha Govt Focus On Pipili Bypoll & Public Functions

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday issued its guidelines on COVID-19 for April with special thrust on Pipili byelection and festivals during the month.

According to an official order of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), political meetings and other functions/gatherings for the Pipili bypoll scheduled on April 17 can be held as permitted by the Election Commission of India/CEO, Odisha or the empowered/authorised officers subject to the following conditions:

a. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitiser will be mandatory.
b. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground in view, the district administration shall give permission for gathering for such number of persons as would be appropriate ensuring strict observance of physical distancing norms. Wearing of masks, provision of thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
c. The District Magistrate-cum-District Election Officer/authorised officer shall ensure strict enforcement of the conditions for holding the political meetings and other functions/gatherings in connection with the bypoll.

In view of celebration of several social, religious and oultural events, such as Utkal Divas, Good Friday, Ram Navami, Maha Bishuba Sankranti, Jhammu Jatra etc in different parts of the state during the month, the following guidelines shall be strictly followed to prevent spread of COVID-19:

a. Congregation for celebration of the festivals and associated religious and cuitural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the state.
b. Religious rituals in churches/temples/places of worship including in places where such rituals are performed traditionally will continue as usual with limited number of persons as permitted by the local authorities

c. Large congregation for celebration of `Utkal Divas’ and associated cultural programmes is not allowed throughout the state.
d. The official meeting/celebration of Utkal Divas will be made with a maximum
of 200 participants. COVID-19 safety protocols like social distancing, use of masks, use of soap & water/sanitizer will be strictly adhered to. Other activities during the day will be avoided.
e. Other organisations and private institutions will observe Utkal Divas and related
activities with prior approval from the local administration

Marriage, funeral/last rites related gatherings are allowed with the restrictions that have been in force by the last government order.

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