COVID-19: Telangana govt bans public meetings, mass gatherings

Hyderabad: With the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus now spreading rapidly, the Telangana government on Saturday said that it has issued an order “strictly prohibiting” rallies, public meetings and mass gatherings of all types including religious, political and cultural events to control the spread of the virus.

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The managements of public transport, shops, malls, establishments, offices etc have also been instructed to ensure mandatory wearing of masks, maintaining physical distance, frequent sanitization of premises, provision for hand hygiene and screening at entry points with IR thermometer/thermal scanners.

Similarly, managements of schools and educational institutions have also been asked to ensure that all staff and students wear masks and follow COVID-19 appropriate behavior. The government order imposing a fine of Rs 1000 for not wearing masks by people in public places will be strictly enforced, the government said in a press release.

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Everyone has been asked to adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behavior. Senior citizens and persons with comorbidities have also been specifically advised to exercise precautions against the virus. The decisions were taken based on the directions of Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR). chief secretary Somesh Kumar and other senior officials met to review the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state.

“During the meeting it was noted that the number of cases of Omicron and COVID-19 are on the rise in other states of India and countries and therefore it was felt that it is important to exercise utmost precaution and adequate preventive measures have to be taken to prevent its further spread,” the release added.

Telangana director general of police Mahender Reddy, Secretary (education) Sandeep Kumar Sultania, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) Rizvi, Director of Public Health Srinivas Rao and other officials attended the meeting.

As of Saturday (in the last 24 hours), 317 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Telangana, taking the state’s total to 6,82,215 since the pandemic began. According to the state government’s latest numbers, three more Omicron cases were detected, taking the total variant cases to eight.

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