Odisha, Stick To COVID Restrictions While Celebrating Holi Tomorrow; Check The Guidelines Here

Bhubaneswar: Holi will continue to be a low-key affair again this year with the Odisha government imposing restrictions on the celebration of the festival of colours in public places.

While issuing the Covid guidelines for March, the office of the Special Relief Commissioner had said that Holi and related rituals will not be observed in public places throughout the state. “People may celebrate Holi with family members in their houses only and not in any public place. Collectors and municipal commissioners may impose any further restrictions as desirable in consideration of the local situation,” the order said, adding, people should follow COVID-appropriate behaviour during the celebration of ‘Dola Pumima’.

Notably, the government has unlocked all activities and lifted the night curfew from urban areas amid a sharp fall in cases.

These restrictions, however, assume significance amid a surge in cases in Europe, China, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong and the Centre’s directive asking states to go for aggressive genome sequencing and intensive surveillance.

Last week, all of the 166 samples sequenced at the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, were detected to be Omicron positive with 95 per cent belonging to the BA.2 sub-type. “We have urged the State government to send all RT-PCR positive samples for sequencing to keep a tab on emerging variants,” ILS Director Dr Ajay Parida told TNIE.

However, no case of the new variant, unofficially known as BA.2.2, has so far been detected in India.

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