New Delhi: In order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the Odisha government on Thursday (July 15) extended the partial lockdown till 6 am of August 1. Announcing the extension, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra informed that the average infection rate, earlier around 5 per cent, has dropped to nearly 3 per cent, ANI reported.
On the basis of this infection rate, the state government has put 30 districts into two categories.
Category A consists of 20 districts, with an infection rate of less than 5 per cent. Category A districts include Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar.
Guidelines for Category A districts:
1. Shops will be allowed to open daily from 6 am to 8 pm.
2. No weekend shutdown in these districts but night curfew will continue.
The remaining 10 districts that come under category-B have an infection rate 5 per cent or above. These districts are Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, and Mayurbhanj.
SOPs for Category B districts:
1. Shops will be allowed to open from 6 am to 5 pm only.
2. Weekend shutdown and night curfew will continue in these districts.
3. Restaurants will be allowed to offer takeaways only.
4. Public transport including bus service, taxi, auto rickshaw service is allowed to resume except for Puri where restrictions on the movement of public transport will remain in force till July 25 ahead of Bahuda Yatra of Lord Jagannath.
Meanwhile, gyms have been allowed to operate, however, schools, colleges, coaching centres, and religious establishments will remain closed till August 1 across the state. Only 25 people can attend a wedding, while 20 people can remain present at a funeral.
Parks, shopping malls, cinema halls will remain closed and exhibitions, jatras (popular folk theatre) and fairs will not be allowed during the partial lockdown.
The state government has permitted indoor and outdoor shootings for films and serials across the state with a strict following of COVID-19 protocols.
Talking about the infection rate, Mohapatra said, “The daily test positivity rate (TPR) of Odisha, which was 5 per cent on July 1, has now come down to below 3 per cent. The number of daily infections has also come down to 2,000 from 3,000 reported earlier this month.”
“It means the situation has not fully improved,” PTI quoted him as saying.
This is the fourth time in the second wave that the state government has extended the lockdown.
Odisha’s totally tally mounted to 9,47,859 after 2,110 fresh cases were detected, while 66 fresh fatalities pushed the toll to 4,861, a health department official said.
(With agency inputs)