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Odisha Unlock 5: Schools, cinema halls, religious places to stay shut till October 31

The Odisha government has decided to keep all schools, colleges, universities and anganwadis as well as religious places and cinema halls in the state shut till October 31 despite the Centre’s latest Unlock 5 guidelines provisioning for reopening of these and more if the states so desired.

Odisha’s latest Unlock guidelines came on the day the state saw 17 deaths due to Covid-19 infection, the highest single-day toll so far. Till now, 859 persons in Odisha have succumbed to Covid-19 while another 53, who had tested positive for the disease, died of other comorbidities. So far, 2.22 lakh people in the state have been infected by the pandemic.

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The special relief commissioner, in an order this evening, said all kinds of social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions as well as large religious congregations will remain prohibited in the state till October end.

According to the order, all cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and other similar places of mass gatherings would continue to be shut till October 31. However, swimming pools, owned by the government, would be allowed to open for training of sportspersons from October 15, following the release of SOPs by the Union ministry of youth affairs and sports.

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Centre’s latest guidelines have allowed cinema halls to open from October 15 with only 50% seating capacity.

The state government’s order said open air theatres and similar places would be allowed to open subject to compliance of safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of face masks, physical distancing.

The state government, however, allowed congregations of not more than 100 persons for political activities including the campaign for bypolls for Tirtol and Balasore assembly seats, scheduled next month, subject to wearing of masks and adherence to social distancing measures.

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