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Lockdown Returns In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Finally looking at the grim scenario due to huge spread of Covid-21 in the state, Odisha Government on Sunday announced a 14-day lockdown from 5 May.  

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra  Mahapatra said lockdown will be imposed in entire state from 5 May to 19 May. Weekend shutdown at urban areas will also continue to be remain in force till 15 May, he said.

“Even though it was undesired, the government has imposed lockdown to protect people and their lives from the pandemic,” Chief Secretary Mr.Mahapatra.  

However, the lockdown and weekend shutdown will not be applicable to the election-related works such as movement of election-related personnel from their place of residence to place of training, disbursal, polling station and back. The bye-poll to Pipili Assembly constituency is scheduled to be held on May 16.

The lockdown is primarily aimed at restricting movement of persons. Movement of goods and goods carriers will not be affected by the lockdown, he said.

On vaccination, Chief Secretarty informed  subject to availability, vaccination will continue and all eligible persons can travel to the Covid vaccination centres (CVC) on their own. Such person(s) shall be allowed to travel to the designated CVCs in their vehicles/ taxis/ auto rickshaws by following guidelines to that effect.

The Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Department, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners have been asked facilitate alternative ways through call centre, IT solutions to ensure that such persons smoothly travel to and from the CVCs.

Similarly, persons required to undertake testing for Covid-19 will be allowed to travel to designated government/ private Covid-19 testing centers.

During the lockdown period, movement of buses for public transport will be prohibited. All educational, training, coaching institutions, etc will remain closed. However, physical conduct of examinations by state, national, international bodies shall be allowed on a case to case basis by the respective departments with due intimation to all concerned authorities, the Chief Secretary said.

All kind of exhibitions, trade fairs, melas and physical Business to Business meetings have been prohibited. However, such activities may be taken up in virtual mode.

All cinema halls, malls, market complexes, jatra, opera, open air theatres, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, parks, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, Merry-go-round (Doll)  Meena bazaar and related activities and similar places will not be allowed to operate during the lockdown period.

Commercial establishments like salons, SPA,  barber shop, beauty parlour etc will remain prohibited. All social, political, sports and entertainment academic, cultural religious functions and other gatherings will not be allowed.

All religious places,  places of worship will remain closed for public. However religious rituals are allow with bare minimum priests and servitors.

The State Government has permitted marriages and funeral like events with approval from local authorities. Maximum 50 persons will be allowed for marriage and in case of funerals and last rites, maximum persons participating will not be more than 20 including hosts guests priests, etc.

The government has also permitted some activities subject to adherence of Standard Operating Procedure (SoP).

All health services including AYUSH, nursing homes, telemedicine facilities dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, medical equipment shops and labs to remain functional. Movement of personnel engaged in such facilities has been allowed,  

Financial institutions like Reserve Bank of India (RBI), payment system operators, clearing houses, bank branches, ATMs and cash arrangement agencies will continue to function.

Public utility services including, oil , gas and telecommunication have been allowed during the period.  

Shops like ration shops (under PDS) and neighborhood/ roadside/ street corner shops dealing with food groceries fruits and vegetables dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal feed & fodder seeds fertilizers and pesticides including and related activities have been allowed by the Odisha Government.  

The shops are allowed to operate on weekdays (Monday to Friday) between 6 AM to 12 Noon and asked to maintain a minimum 30 feet shop to shop distance.  However weekly and daily haats will remain closed, the government said in an order issued on Sunday.  

Restaurants and dhabas will operate for takeaway and home delivery only. Hotels can operate for in-house guests only while media organization will continue to function, said the order.

Garages and vehicle repairing shops have also allowed to operate during the 14-day lockdown period. All kind of agricultural and allied sector activities including selling of the produces will continue. Besides, industrial and construction activities will also continue during the lockdown.  

A day after reporting the biggest-ever spike of 10,413, Odisha saw a 23 per cent fall in new COVID-21 cases on Sunday as 8015 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.