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The Odisha government has allowed universities and colleges to commence offline classes for first-year undergraduate students from 20 September. 

As per a government order issued on Saturday, physical attendance is not mandatory for students at the moment and online classes will continue.

Further, hostels will restart for first-year students from Sunday in compliance with all Covid-19 guidelines. 

State govt guidelines for colleges, universities 

  • Teachers/staff/students residing in containment zones shall not come to university/college.
  • Face mask/face cover shall be mandatory.
  • Frequent hand wash/hand sanitization shall be ensured.
  • Social distancing shall be adopted in classrooms, libraries, laboratories, etc. If need be, crowded classes can be divided into batches and teaching hours in a day can be extended.
  • Spitting in campus shall be strictly prohibited.
  • Respiratory etiquettes shall be strictly followed. (i.e. covering one's mouth and nose by handkerchief while coughing/ sneezing).
  • Self-monitoring of health and reporting of illness should be encouraged.
  • There must be an isolation room ready for any emergency.

Covid situation in state 

Khurda and Cuttack districts accounted for over 57% of the 628 new Covid-19 cases detected in Odisha on Friday, a health official said.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), on the other hand, sealed two government offices for two days after several employees tested positive for the infection.

Though the overall Covid situation in the state has improved substantially, the detection of a large number of cases in Khurda, and its constituent Bhubaneswar, remains a cause of concern, he said.

The state's tally rose to 10,18,926 as Khurda reported the highest number of new cases at 291, followed by Cuttack (72). Seven of the 30 districts did not register any fresh infection, while 14 districts recorded cases in single-digit figures.

Of the 291 new cases reported in Khurda, Bhubaneswar alone registered 190 infections.

As many as 367 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 261 fresh infections were detected during contact tracing. 

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