With COVID-19 positive cases rising rapidly across Odisha, the Rourkela administration has come out with a peculiar order, stating that any groom coming to city from districts with high COVID-19 loads for marriage will have to undergo 14-days of quarantine before tying the knot.
The city administration seems to be closing its boundary to outsiders due to the rising COVID-19 cases. “Earlier, those coming from outside the State or country were required to undergo 14-days of institutional quarantine. But, the same was not applicable to people from other districts. Now, as the cases are shooting up, we have made quarantine mandatory for people of 14 districts,” said Aboli Sunil Naravane, additional district magistrate (ADM), Rourkela.
Ms. Naravane said, “people from 14 identified districts will have to register with administration which would advise them to go for either institutional or home quarantine. It is a strict condition for everybody. If a groom is coming to the city from these districts for marriage, he and his marriage party will have to undergo 14-days of quarantine.”
Moreover, people from highly infected districts should not spend more than 72 hours in the city, and during this time they should not interact with anyone, she said.
“This is a very strict rule. We are trying to avoid imposing shutdown. On the other hand, Rourkela residents should not spend more than five hours outside the district. If the time exceeds the prescribed five hours, they will have to register and undergo quarantine,” said Rourkela ADM.
The fourteen districts which were identified by Rourkela administration include Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack, Balasore, Balangir, Bhadrak, Puri, Jagatisinghpur, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Keonjhar, Jharsuguda and Gajapati.
Odisha on Sunday reported 469 COVID-19 positive cases, including 317 from quarantine and 152 from community. The detection from community accounted for more than 32% of the cases. The State’s total positive cases increased to 9,070 and death toll reached 36.
Local administrations have also gradually started taking lockdown measures. Puri district has barred entry of people from other districts from Sunday, while Cuttack city has imposed a shutdown till Wednesday.
Similarly, Barbil town will remain shut for a week following the detection of 11 positive cases.
In Gopalpur, the coastal town in Ganjam district, the administration sealed a hotel for seven days, arrested groom, his father and brother, besides slapping a penalty of ₹50,000 for taking out a marriage procession in violation of social distancing norms.
Meanwhile, leading hospitals, including Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), AIIMS-Bhubaneswar and SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack have started taking steps to prevent the spread of infection following detection of COVID-19 cases from their campuses in the past one week.