Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday declared a 14-day lockdown from May 5 to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the state, an official order said.
In a video message, chief secretary SC Mahapatra said the lockdown will be imposed in the entire state from May 5 (5 am) till May 19. Along with the lockdown, the weekend shutdown in urban areas will also be in force till May 15, he said.
Under weekend shutdown, except for medical outlets and hospitals everything else are completely prohibited.
“Even though nobody wanted this strict enforcement, the government has imposed lockdown to protect people and their lives from the pandemic,” Mahapatra said.
Like other parts of the country, Odisha is also witnessing a sharp spike in COVID cases during the second wave.
As per the last health bulletin, the state had reported 8015 fresh coronavirus cases Saturday. On Friday 10,413 people had tested positive in the state.
The lockdown and weekend shutdown,however, will not be applicable to election-related works such as movement of poll personnel from their place of residence to place of training, disbursal, polling station and back.
The bypoll 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,” the chief secretary said.
Regarding the on-going vaccination drive, Mahapatra said 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.
The Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Department/ district collectors/ municipal commissioners have been asked to facilitate alternative ways through call centre,IT solutions to ensure such persons smoothly travel to and from the CVCs.
Similarly, persons required to undertake testing for coronavirus will be allowed to travel to designated government/ private COVID testing centres.
According to the order, during lockdown period, movement of buses for public transport will be banned.
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, Mahapatra 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.
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/ barber shop spa 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 allowed with bare minimum number of priests/servitors.
The government has permitted marriages and funeral like events with approval from the 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).
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 houses will continue to function, said the order.
Garages and vehicle repairing shops are also allowed to operate during the 14-day lockdown period.
Agricultural and allied sector activities will continue.
Besides, industrial and construction work will also go on during the lockdown.
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