Odisha extends lockdown by another 2 weeks till June 1

It had announced a lockdown from May 5 to 19

The Odisha government on Tuesday extended the lockdown by another two weeks with stricter restrictions till June 1.

It had announced a lockdown from May 5 to 19.

“The timely lockdown has helped the State government put a brake on the rate of growth of COVID-19 cases. In the past 15 days, cases have remained static, though the daily spike in cases is above 10,000,” said Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Chief Secretary, announcing the lockdown extension.

Cases have started to come down in many western districts, especially bordering Chhattisgarh, following the lockdown, he stated. “Keeping the development in mind, the government decided to extend the present lockdown by two weeks. The lockdown will remain in force till 5 a.m. till June 1. The existing weekend shutdown would continue.”

There would be complete shutdown on weekends, starting from 6 p.m. of Fridays till 5 a.m. of Mondays.

Stricter one

“We have made the second lockdown stricter. The six-hour window between 6 a.m. and 12 given to people for buying essential goods from Monday to Friday has been reduced to four hours from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” he said.

“Our objective is to ensure that people remain inside their homes and don’t come out unless there is extremely emergency situation. Those found roaming outside without any valid reasons will be taken to task,” the Chief Secretary warned, adding that it was important to break the chain of infection.

Participation in marriages had been brought down from 50 to 25. Community feasts thrown during marriages had been completely prohibited. No one could organise feasts in other social functions such as cremation and thread related ceremonies. The host could give food in packets in the takeaway manner.

Agriculture, construction, finance and construction sector activities have been allowed to carry on with reduced manpower.

“Offices in private and corporate and civil society sectors shall work with reduced manpower preferably at 33% of their staff strength. Such offices shall encourage work from home for their staff,” says the guideline issued by the government.

During the lockdown, vaccination and testing activities would be allowed to go on. The law enforcement agencies have been asked to enforce the lockdown strictly and impose fine on those would be found flouting the protocols.

Directive to panchayat raj institutions

Since COVID-19 cases were found spreading in rural areas, panchayat raj institutions have been directed to keep tab on people coming from outside. They would ensure that the returnees underwent home isolation or isolated in temporary medical camps.

Odisha on Tuesday reported 10,321 fresh cases, taking its total tally to 6,33,302. After the recovery of 5,26,353, the total active cases stood at 1,04,539. Similarly, 22 persons lost the battle against COVID-19, taking the total death toll to 2357.

Incidentally, the State added about 1,78,695 positive cases, and 303 infected persons died of the disease in May itself. In some districts, test positivity was well above 50% in the second wave while majority of the districts had TPR above 20% in the lockdown period.

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