Odisha: COVID guidelines for September announced; Know what activities permitted or prohibited

Bhubaneswar: With a view to protecting the health of the public and preventing the spread of Covid-19 along with normalising the economic activities, in supersession of all previous orders of Revenue & Disaster Management (DM) Department in this regard excepting those specifically mentioned/ referred, the Odisha Government on Tuesday imposed certain stipulations/ instructions for graded unlocking which shall be effective from 6 AM of 1st September, 2021 (Wednesday) till 6 AM of 1st October, 2021 (Friday).

Strategy for containing the infection

Five-fold strategy such as Testing, Tracking, Treatment, Vaccination and Adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour shall be adopted for containing the spread of infection.

Micro containment measures shall be undertaken by local authorities i.e. District Collector & Municipal Commissioners, examining very carefully the spread of infection, case positivity, hospital infrastructure and local conditions, with a view to minimizing the spread through effective microcontainment.

While working on the containment framework, the concerned authorities shall carefully determine the area which shall be brought under micro-containment. The clinical management and vaccination shall be given adequate importance and a detailed strategy and action plan shall be worked out by the local administration. The local authorities shall be guided in this regard by Annexure 1.

Operational guidelines in containment zones

In these containment zones, the activities allowed under these guidelines will not be permitted. There shall be strict perimeter control in the area of the containment zones to ensure that there is no unchecked inward/ outward movement of population from these zones except for maintaining essential services (including medical emergencies and law and order-related duties) and Government business continuity. The guidelines issued in this regard by MoHFW will be strictly implemented.

If any new area is included in the category of containment zone, the activities allowed in that area till the time of its categorization as a containment zone, will be suspended, except for those activities which are specifically permitted under consolidated revised guidelines.

The activities allowed under these guidelines will be withdrawn immediately, if any of the stipulations are violated, risking the spread of COVID-19. All entities, in the Government and private sectors, and members of public should follow the guidelines strictly.

Unlocking

There shall be graded unlocking throughout the State with effect from 6 AM of 1st September, 2021 (Wednesday) till 6 AM of 1st October, 2021 (Friday).

Night curfew shall be imposed in all urban areas of the State from 10 PM to 5 AM every day.

Weekend Shutdown

There shall be no weekend shutdown across the State.

Vaccination & Testing

Vaccination shall continue in places as notified by H&FW Department from time to time and Testing shall continue as per H&FW Department guidelines & time schedule.

During unlock period, all types of shops & malls may remain open across the State from 5 AM to 10 PM every day.

It shall be the responsibility of the mall authorities and shop owner (s)/ market associations to ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour are followed strictly by himself/herself, and the customers.

The owner shall make arrangements by deploying his/her staff to prevent crowding by customers inside and outside the shop. Proper social distancing demarcations in and outside shop shall be displayed by the shop owner and COVID appropriate social distancing shall be ensured by him/her.

In case of violation, local authorities can take strict action including criminal action under relevant acts including Disaster Management Act, 2005. Such violation shall

entail sealing of such shops for a period as decided by the local authorities.

All activities and establishments shall remain fully functional with the following stipulations and exclusions:

All Social/ Religious/ political/ cultural gatherings shall remain prohibited.

Exhibitions/ Trade Fairs/ Melas shall remain prohibited.

Auditoriums/ assembly halls/ similar facilities shall remain open only for official meetings as per the seating capacity adhering to COVID safety protocols. No social/ religious/ cultural/ political gatherings & meetings shall be allowed in such facilities.

Permission for such meetings shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack or other officers authorised by them. Provided that the respective District Collector/ Municipal/ Commissioner/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may further restrict the number of persons to be allowed in such functions/ gatherings keeping the local situation in mind in the interest of the health of the people and issue-specific order in that regard.

Information Centre-cum-Reading Rooms/ libraries shall remain open. The concerned authorities/ in charge of such centres/ libraries should adhere to COVID- 19 safety protocols.

Marriages, thread Ceremony/ Bratopanayan, funerals, last rites and related gatherings with approval from local authorities shall be allowed with a ceiling of 250 persons (for the entire event) including hosts, guests, priests and catering and other support staff with adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols subject to the following conditions:

  • Under no circumstances, the number of participants shall exceed the ceiling for the entire event.
  • ln closed spaces, subject to the above ceilings such number of persons shall be allowed as would be feasible to follow Covid
  • ln open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view the appropriate number of persons will be allowed, subject to the above ceilings, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm.

Marriage processions shall be allowed with due prior written approval from competent authorities subject to the ceiling 50 participants including the bridegroom, priest, friends, relatives, guests, members of band party, light & sound systems etc. The number of persons in marriage procession shall count towards the above said ceiling of 250 persons.

  • All other conditions/ stipulations for marriage, funeral and last rites-related gatherings shall be followed as per the Government guidelines released vide Revenue and Disaster Management (DM) Department letter No. 2321/ 30.04.2021.
  • All other conditions/ stipulations for thread ceremony/ bratopanayana and related rituals shall be followed as per the Government guidelines released vide Revenue and Disaster Management (DM) Department letter No.2666 dated 18.05.2021.

Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.

Subject to other provisions of this order, activities that are not specifically prohibited/ regulated/ restricted/ permitted with restrictions above are allowed subject to adherence to COVID- 19 safety protocols and SOPs/ guidelines issued by appropriate authorities.

Night Curfew in Urban Areas

During the night curfew all activities shall be banned except the following.

  • All commercial establishments including essential items, food and vegetable shops, excluding all medicine/ pharmaceuticals/ medical devices/optical shops etc. shall remain closed.
  • However, home delivery of essential goods, food items, including grocery, vegetables, fish, meat, egg and milk are permitted. Further, home delivery of food by restaurants, hotels and aggregators such as Swiggy, Zomato etc. are allowed.
  • No restrictions shall apply to COVID testing and vaccination centres and movement of persons/ vehicles for COVID testing and vaccination shall be allowed.
  • All Government & Private offices/ establishments dealing with essential services/ utility providers like power, telecommunication, water supply, Police, Municipal Services, Railways/ Airport/ Port services and Security etc. shall remain functional.
  • Movement of private four and two-wheeler, auto-rickshaws, cab aggregators such as Ola, Uber etc. are allowed for dropping and picking up passengers to and from airports, railway stations and bus stands.
  • However, during the night curfew, the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, shall allow/ restrict any such activities as would be necessary in the interest of genera/ health of the public and for prevention of spread of Covid-19.

General Guidance

No pass would be required for the movement of the above category of persons. Valid Travel documents/ authorizations such as airline/ railway/ bus tickets/ boarding passes, with any identity proof shall be adequate for the purpose.

Identity cards issued by appropriate authorities of the establishments shall serve as pass for effecting movement of employees of establishments under permitted activities.

Patients and their attendants/ persons requiring emergency need for movement shall be allowed to move with minima/ proof of their emergencies. Officers/ staff on duty shall be sensitized to appreciate the situation of persons on the road and take suitable action to facilitate movement on emergency needs; however, considering situation on the ground, appropriate local authorities may prescribe additional requirements for permission to travel. However, all efforts shall be made for smooth, contactless and electronic methods for entertaining requests for movement.

Involvement of Gram Panchayats

Gram Panchayat shall play a very important role in creating awareness among inhabitants about COVID Appropriate Behaviours (CABs) and keep a track on people coming from outside to their area, besides undertaking surveillance on the spread of the disease.

Further, Gram Panchayats shall monitor the health condition of people in Home Isolation and report to BDOs/ Health Officials about non-availability of appropriate conditions if any and the need for transferring patients from Home Isolation, if required.

Further Gram Panchayat shall bring to the notice of Local Authorities (BDO/Tahsildar/ PHC/CHC/ Police Station) with regard to violation of COVID-19 protocols and relevant guidelines on COVID-19 management by any individual(s).

General Directives for COVID-19 Management

  • The following General Directives for COVID-19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:
  • Face coverings/ Masks: Wearing of face cover/ mask properly is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and in public transport.
  • Physical distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places.
  • Spitting in public place will be punishable with a fine, as prescribed in accordance with laws, rules or regulations.
  • Same as permitted by the Excise Department, consumption of liquor in public places is prohibited.
  • Consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, and similar products in public places is prohibited.

Safety and Protection of vulnerable persons

The following categories of people are advised against the outdoor movement, except for essential and health purposes.

  • Persons above 65 years of age
  • Persons with co-morbidities
  • Pregnant women
  • Children below the age of 10 years

Instructions for enforcement of the above stipulations

All the district magistrates shall strictly enforce the National COVID 19 directives as specified in Annexure I. Penalties prescribed shall be levied and collected from all persons and entities violating these directives.

All industrial and commercial establishments, workplaces, offices etc. shall put in place arrangements for implementation of SOP before starting their functioning. Police Commissioner, Collector, ADM, CDM & PHO, DCP, Sub-Collector, Tahasildar, B.D.O, Municipal Commissioner and Executive Officer of Urban Local Bodies are hereby authorized to take all necessary actions for enforcement and implementation of the aforesaid measures. Local police shall render necessary assistance as and when requisitioned by the aforementioned officers. Excise enforcement activities shall be permitted.

Special Powers

District Magistrates & Collectors/ Police Commissioner of Cuttack- Bhubaneswar Police Commissionerate/ Municipal Commissioners shall scrupulously implement these guidelines and shall take all possible measures to enforce the guidelines. They may impose any additional restrictions as may be felt necessary in the interest of containment of the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour are followed by all concerned.

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