Stricter night curfew in Bhubaneswar-Cuttack for Dussera

The cities are a major attraction for tourists and local residents during Durga Puja

The Odisha government on Thursday clamped night curfew in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for 10 days from October 11 to October 20, keeping the upcoming Dussera festival in mind.

Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are a major attraction for tourists and local residents during Durga Puja. Pandals come up at more than 200 places in the two urban centres, with devotees jostling for a glimpse of the idols.

“Night curfew shall be imposed in all urban centres of the State from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day. However, with a view to protecting the health of the public in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack towns, night curfew shall be imposed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. during October 11 to 20,” said Special Relief Commissioner P. K. Jena, announcing the October guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday.

“Considering local conditions, District Magistrates, Municipal Commissioners, and the Police Commissioner for Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may impose restrictions on the entry of devotees into places of worship,” Mr. Jena said.

He appealed to people to not congregate unnecessarily during festivals and maintain physical distance in order to prevent COVID-19 cases from shooting up again.

Odisha has been consistently reporting daily cases below the 1,000-mark since August 19. Except Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, active cases have dropped below the 300-mark in the districts. Test positivity rate has remained below 1%.

Recently, the Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, and the State Health and Family Welfare Department came up with findings that about three-fourths of the population in 12 districts of State had developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Close to 70% of the State’s eligible population has taken the first dose.

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