As the Covid-19 situation continues to worsen in the state, the Odisha government on Sunday announced a 14-day lockdown in the state from May 5 to May 19 to contain the spread of the virus.
Announcing the lockdown, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra noted that the weekend shutdowns will continue in all urban areas of the State beginning from 6 pm on Fridays to 5 am on Mondays. While transport by buses, interstate, and intrastate will remain suspended until May 19, he said.
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Agriculture and related activities will be allowed in the state during the period. Sowing, nursery and land preparation, irrigation, planting, harvesting, threshing, processing, and packing will also be allowed, according to Mahapatra.
The Chief Secretary also noted that all industries operating in urban and rural areas, brick kilns in rural areas, workshops of Indian Railways, and construction activities in both government and private sectors will be allowed.
The Chief secretary maintained that the lockdown and shutdown will not be applicable to election-related work such as movement of poll-related personnel from their place of residence to the place of training, disbursal, polling station and back, movement of election materials, and all election-related activities for
by-election to Pipili assembly constituency scheduled on May 16.
During the lockdown period, street corner and roadside shops, stand-alone shops dealing with food and essential items, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, and milk are allowed to operate between 6 am to 12 noon.
Such shops will have a minimum 30 feet distance and local authorities will demarcate the areas. However, such relaxation will be permitted on weekdays only and not during the shutdown on Saturdays and Sundays. However, weekly and daily haats will remain closed during the lockdown period.
The new guidelines issued by the state government maintained that the district collectors and municipal commissioners will make all efforts to disperse the vegetable vendors in such a manner that no person is required to travel more than 500 meters for the purchase of vegetables.
Restaurants and roadside dhabas will be allowed to do takeaway and home delivery only. Shops for educational books for students will be allowed. The Chief Secretary said all facilities in the supply chain of essential goods whether involved in manufacturing, wholesale or retail of such goods will be allowed to function with strict adherence to social distancing norms.
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The Chief Secretary announced that all health services including AYUSH like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and telemedicine facilities will be functional during the lockdown period. Inter and intrastate movement including by air of all medical and veterinary personnel, scientists, nurses, paramedical staff,
laboratory technicians, midwives, and other hospital support services including ambulances will also be allowed during the period. Earlier, on April 20 the government had imposed a weekend shutdown in all the urban areas in Odisha.