Coronavirus Pandemic: Schools, Colleges In Odisha To Remain Closed Till March 31

Bhubaneswar :  Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a state disaster and announced that all educational institutions, swimming pools, gyms and cinema halls in Odisha will remain closed till March 31,But the Plus II exams will be held as scheduled, he told the Assembly.“The State Cabinet met this morning (Friday) and declared COVID-19 as a ‘disaster’ for the State under the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to adequately empower our public officials to combat the spread of COVID-19,” he said.The Cabinet has also approved Rs 200 crore for creating awareness about the deadly virus. An Empowered Group of Ministers has been constituted and a Committee of Secretaries headed by the Chief Secretary will be formed to evaluate the emerging situation and take all necessary steps for preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The COVID-19 Odisha Regulations, 2020 have also been approved.“The Health & Family Welfare Department and its Directorates, as well as the Collectors and Municipal Commissioners have been authorised for making emergency procurement of necessary drugs and consumables, equipment and other required services etc. as are necessary to prevent, contain COVID-19,” he said.The competent officers have been authorised to impose restrictions on assemblies, congregations, institutions and establishments aiming at ‘social distancing’ to contain the spread of the disease by invoking powers under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Naveen said.Stressing on social distancing, the Chief Minister made these announcements in the Assembly: All educational institutions shall remain closed till March 31, 2020 except for holding examinations. Non-essential official gatherings such as seminars, workshops, conferences are to be cancelled. Social gatherings and assemblies like religious functions, marriage receptions, parties etc. are to be regulated by local authorities.Cinema Halls, swimming pools and gyms are to be closed till March 31, 2020.

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