Odisha: ceiling at wedding, funeral meetings cut in view of mutated virus |  Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Citing the critical situation due to the discovery of a new variant of the novel corona virus, the state government lowered the upper limit for gatherings in marriages to 200 and for burials to 50 people on Tuesday. The ceiling was 500 earlier in both weddings and final rites.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra issued the order citing the need to strictly adhere to security protocols as the state is going through a “critical situation” with regard to the discovery of new variants of SARS Cov-2.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra explained the new variants and when contacted said that there is still no confirmation for the variant, but the very rapid spread of the virus in two clusters in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack has to a high degree suspected mutant strain of the virus. “While one person returned from Puducherry spread the virus to about 20 people in a private college in Cuttack, another person returned from Maharashtra was behind the thrust in positive cases in XIMB Bhubaneswar, where 28 were found positive,” Mohapatra said.
The Institute of Life Sciences (ILS in Bhubaneswar performed genome sequencing to understand the type of mutant: “We analyzed more than 300 samples. The result should be available within a day or two,” said ILS director Ajay Parida.
Government ordinance stated that attendees did not follow strict conduct or proper protocols during marriages, leading to fears of the transmission of infection in such gatherings.
The government said regulations on masks, social distancing, thermal scanning and the use of hand sanitizer will be mandatory at gatherings.
Instead of curfew in multiple locations, as has been noted in some areas, the government also opted for mini-containment zones.
The health department asked the district administrations to set up mini-containment zones wherever a group of cases is discovered.
The police have been asked to pay special attention to enforcing COVID-appropriate behavior in public places, especially in markets, religious institutions and wedding venues.
The health department noted that urban areas are more prone to rapid expansion and called for more enforcement and surveillance activities in cities.