Covid fear: Night curfew in Malkangiri on eve of badayatra | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: Amid rising infections in some parts of the state, night curfew made a comeback to Malkangiri district, which has not reported any Covid case in more than a week and has no active positive case at all.
However, the fear of congregation during a tribal festival forced the district administration to impose curfew between 9 pm to 6 am from March 23 to 31. “The movement of individual shall remain strictly prohibited, except for essential activities during the curfew,” the order issued by Yeddula Vijay, the district collector, said.
Besides Malkangiri, Boudh and Gajapati, too, don’t have any active case even as Bhubaneswar and Cuttack reported a sudden spurt in the past few days. Of the 867 active positive cases in the state, Cuttack has the highest 134 followed by 105 in Khurda (of which Bhubaneswar is a part).
But the government has decided not to put restrictions immediately and is keeping a close eye on the evolving scenario.
“The government doesn’t want to put avoidable restrictions to strike a balance between life, livelihood and economy. An appropriate decision will be taken keeping in mind the dynamic situation,” special relief commissioner Pradeep Jena said following a review of the Covid situation between chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra and the district collectors.
Vijay, when contacted, said the reason for imposing curfew is a tribal festival called the Badayatra when thousands of people from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh besides neighbouring districts within Odisha converge in Malkangiri town.
“The festival began at Polur in Andhra Pradesh, close to the Odisha-Andhra border on Monday. A procession of tribal deities from Polur would reach Malkangiri on March 27 followed by large-scale festivities here till March 31,” Vijay said.

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