BMC closes parks till March 31 to keep corona at bay

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Bhubaneswar: Extending its fight against novel coronavirus, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Saturday, ordered all government and private parks in the city to be closed until March 31 to avoid mass gatherings.

The closure of parks within BMC limits was implemented in line with the state government’s regulations to minimise the spread of COVID-19 by promoting social distancing. As of now, there are more than 120 parks across the city of which 57 belong to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) while the remaining 63 are maintained by BMC. While BDA manages the big central parks, the small community and colony–based parks are managed by BMC.

“It is observed that despite regulation, uncontrollable crowds are observed in parks and the guidelines of social distancing are not adhered to which has the potential for spreading the disease,” a BMC notification said.
Meanwhile, extending the shutdown order on various shops, the BMC further directed all shops to immediately stop selling paan (betel), gutkha and tea.

In the notification, the BMC said, “As part of the drive to contain COVID-19, all shops dealing with non-essential items as paan, gutkha and tea including BMC’s Omfed outlets are to be restricted to sale of milk and related products only.”

The civic body also ordered for closure of garment shops, ice cream parlours and instructed OPOLFED outlets not to sell any cooked food. It further asked fruit juice centres to only sell fruits.

Meanwhile, the civic authority also requested citizens not to hide their travel history. “It is mandatory for everyone coming from foreign countries within the last 14 days to register on the helpline no. 104 or https://covid19.odisha.gov.in and quarantine themselves. Strict action will be taken against those who violate the order,” the BMC in a tweet said.

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