No public gatherings allowed in Telangana till January 2

The Telangana government has not, however, banned New Year’s celebrations in the state.
File image of Hyderabad's Lad Bazaar
File image of Hyderabad's Lad Bazaar
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The Telangana government on Saturday, December 25, announced a new set of restrictions in the state in light of the Omicron variant, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. As per the announcement, rallies and public gatherings have been banned in the state till January 2. Acting on the direction of the Telangana High Court, the state government issued a Government Order (GO) imposing the curbs on public gatherings. However, the state has not banned New Year’s celebrations.

The GO also states that other events involving congregation of people will be permitted subject to three conditions — the organisers have to ensure physical distancing at the venue, should not allow any person who is not wearing a face mask, and should arrange IR thermometers/thermal scanners at entry points to scan persons entering the venue.

The High Court on December 23 had directed the state government to impose curbs during festivals and New Year celebrations in view of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus. The court had asked the government to issue orders within three days. The GO also stated that orders for imposition of fine for not wearing masks by people in public spaces issued in April will be strictly enforced.

On Saturday, Telangana reported four new cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in the state to 41. Of these, three were passengers who arrived at the international airport in Hyderabad from countries other than those declared ‘at-risk’ by the Union government, a bulletin from the state Health Department said. The bulletin said that a further 20 samples are awaited for their Omicron status.

Meanwhile, Telangana reported 140 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 6,80,553 while the death toll rose to 4,021 with two more fatalities. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 92, followed by Ranga Reddy district (14), a state bulletin said, providing details as of 5.30 pm on Saturday.

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