CHANDIGARH: Amid the rising COVID-19 cases, the Haryana government Monday banned large congregations such as rallies and protests, and extended existing restrictions including the closure of cinema halls and sports complexes to eight more districts, according to an official order.
The order issued by the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority (HSDMA) said the restrictions will be applicable till 5 am on January 19.
“Large congregations like all kinds of public meetings, rallies, protests, dharnas etc shall be prohibited in the state,” said the order.
The eight new districts where the restrictions will be applicable are Sirsa, Rewari, Jind, Fatehabad, Mahendergarh, Kaithal, Bhiwani and Hisar.
Earlier, these restrictions were imposed in Karnal, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Rohtak Jhajjar, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ambala, Panchkula and Sonipat.
Cinema halls, theaters and multiplexes shall remain closed, the earlier order issued on January 5 had stated.
“…Hence, restrictions imposed in Group ‘A’ districts (other 11 districts) vide order dated January 5, shall also be imposed in these (eight districts),” said the order.
Malls and markets will be allowed to open till 6 pm.
However, shops selling essential items like milk and medicine will be allowed to open at all times to enable them to serve the public at large, it said.
All sports complexes, swimming pools and stadia shall remain closed except when being used for training of sportspersons for participation in national and international events, the order said.
All entertainment parks and B2B exhibitions are prohibited, it said.
According to the existing order, government and private offices, except for emergency/essential services, have been advised to function with 50 per cent staff attendance.
This is now applicable to the eight more districts.
Haryana has witnessed a big spike in Covid cases over the past nearly a fortnight.
Districts including Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Ambala, Panchkula are among the worst-affected.
There was no letup in COVID-19 surge in Haryana, with 5,736 fresh infections and five fatalities being reported on Monday.
According to the health department’s daily bulletin, the state also reported 26 fresh cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the tally of such infections in the state rose to 162, out of which 17 are active while the rest have been discharged.
To check the spread of the viral infection, the state government banned people eligible for vaccination but not fully vaccinated from entering shopping malls, cinema halls, restaurants and grain markets, among other crowded places, starting January 1.
A night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am is already in force in the state.