(Eds: Adds more inputs) Bhubaneswar, Dec 31 (PTI) The Odisha government has imposed a night curfew from 10 pm on Thursday to avoid large gatherings during the New Year celebrations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.
The restriction will remain in place till 5 am on Friday, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.
Taking to Twitter, the SRC said, 'Govt (Government) of Odisha imposing night curfew from 10 pm of tonight to 5 am tomorrow across the state. General public requested to cooperate. All essential services & movements are allowed to continue during the curfew hours.' He urged people to follow the COVID-19 protocols even though the state has witnessed a declining trend of fresh coronavirus cases.
Odisha's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 3,29,621 as 315 more people tested positive for the infection on Thursday, while two fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,873.
'We have to be extra cautious after the detection of a new strain of coronavirus. It is more infectious. The general administration department has already issued a notice, prohibiting any event marking New Year's Day celebrations,' Jena said.
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner S S Sarangi said 40 platoons of security personnel will be deployed in the two cities to enforce the curfew on Thursday night.
'We have information about functions that have been planned at several apartments and residential areas to celebrate the new year. We urge people not to organise such events. Police personnel will conduct surprise raids,' he said.
The state government has already banned the New Year celebrations in hotels, restaurants, clubs, parks and other public places on Thursday and Friday.
Any person found violating the order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said on Wednesday.
However, cinema halls and theatres in the state have been allowed to operate with up to 50 per cent capacity from Friday. PTI AAM BDC BDC