Lockdown extended in Odisha containment zones. (Reuters image)

Lockdown Extension in India: The Government Odisha today extended COVID19 lockdown in containment zones till 31st November 2020. All academic institutions to remain closed in Odisha till November 30. Under the supervision of schools, classes of 9th to 12th standard to be conducted from November 16, the state government said.

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Under its Unlock 6 guidelines, Odisha government has announced partial reopening of schools for students of classes 9-12 from November 16. All academic institutions across the state, however, would remain closed till November 30.

“… The classes of 9th to 12th in schools under the control/superintendence/supervision of School and Mass Education Department will open from November 16, 2020 as per the guidelines/SOP to be issued by the S&ME Department,” said an official order.

Academic institutions, including coaching centres, have been closed since March in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government order has permitted authorities to conduct examinations (academic, competitive and entrance tests), evaluation and other administrative activities.

Online/distance learning would continue to be permitted and encouraged in the state, the order said, adding, that the departments concerned may permit teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to schools for online classes.

Higher education institutions have been permitted to open only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students in science and technology streams requiring laboratory work.

On the issue of reopening places of worship, the state government said that local authorities may issue such permits with appropriate restrictions and safety protocols, based on assessment of the COVID-19 situation.

Cinema halls closed

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain shut. However, open air theatres and similar places may be allowed to operate, subject to compliance of health protocols.

Marriage-related gatherings have been permitted with a maximum ceiling of 200 persons, and not more than 50 persons are allowed at funerals, the order said.

Large social, political, sports, religious congregations have been prohibited till November 30, except Election Commission of India approved meetings for by-elections, the state government order said.

International flight operations will also remain shut till November 30. There is, however, no restriction on inter-state movement.

(With agency inputs)

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