Odisha Govt To Announce August ‘Lockdown’ Guidelines At 3PM!

Bhubaneswar: With the ongoing partial lockdown ending in the next 24 hours, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Development Commissioner and Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena may announce the future plan for COVID containment in the state at 3.30 pm on Saturday, official sources said.

Odisha has been under COVID-induced lockdown since May 5 to break the infection chain.

The government, however, is unlikely to go for a complete unlock process with daily cases hovering around 2000. The IIT-Kanpur had earlier projected that the daily infection count in Odisha would drop below 800 by July 15. However, that has not been the case even by July-end.

On Saturday, Odisha saw 1,578 new COVID-19 cases. The slow pace of decline also has the experts worried as it can make the virus virulent. This trend is mostly observed in Khurda and Cuttack districts. These two districts are unlikely to see much relaxation in the norms.

The good news is that no district has a positivity rate of above 5 per cent. As many as 16 have a TPR below 1 per cent. The daily cases, however, still remain above 400 in Khurda and 200 in Cuttack districts.

While extending the partial lockdown till 6 am on August 1, the government on July 15 has allowed more relaxation in the restrictions in 20 A category districts –  Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar.

The weekend shutdown was lifted in these districts, and shops were allowed to remain open from 6 am till 8 pm on all seven days.

Shops and commercial establishments were allowed to open from 6 am till 5 pm in Category-B districts – Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj. Following this, night curfew was imposed till 6 am the following morning.

Weekly and daily markets were not permitted in Category-B districts.

The government had also allowed gym, spa and beauty parlours to open with strict adherence to COVID guidelines.

Buses were allowed to ply in all districts of the state except Puri (till July 25). Taxi and auto-rickshaw could move across the state.

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