The Odisha government on Thursday announced a 14-day complete lockdown in four districts and a municipal corporation with high coronavirus load beginning from July 17 evening. Ganjam, Khurda, Cuttack and Jajpur district and Rourkela city will be locked down from 9 pm on Friday to July 31 amid a rapid spurt in COVID-19 cases in the state.
Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said aggressive surveillance will be conducted during the period in these areas to contain the spread of the disease.
The restrictions in the four districts were imposed after different surveys showed that these account for 66 percent of the total cases in the state, he said, adding that 90 percent of the cases in the Sundargarh district have been detected in Rourkela.
“We are confident that we will be able to contain the spread of coronavirus effectively if these steps are implemented during the fortnight,” Tripathy said.
Movement of the people will be restricted and shops, commercial establishments, offices, and institutions will remain closed during the period, he said.
Unnecessary movement of people to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will be barred and nobody will be allowed to enter into these cities without a valid reason, he added.
However, shops selling essentials will remain open from 6 am to 1 pm every day, the chief secretary said, appealing to the people to refrain from panic buying.
Some central government establishments, including post offices, telecom, customs clearance at ports and airports will be exempted from restrictions, he said. Similarly, RBI, financial markets, ATMs, payment system operators and standalone primary dealers will be allowed to operate with bare minimum staff.
Operations in airports, railway stations, and bus terminals will also be permitted.
Public transport and private vehicles to and from airports, railway stations, and bus terminals will be allowed for facilitating the movement of passengers coming in by flights,n trains, and buses, the chief secretary said. Tripathy said agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, veterinary services, and allied activities will be allowed during the period.
All industrial units and factories, and hotels and IT units will be allowed to function with bare minimum staff. Dhabas along national and state highways and major roads can operate for takeaway only, while petrol pumps, CNG stations, and LPG, including their bottling, distribution, and retail outlets, will also be allowed, he said.