Bhubaneswar: After remaining under lockdown for 56 days, the people of Odisha are expecting further relaxation in the restrictions from July 1.
If official sources are to be believed, most of the ongoing curbs are likely to end in the next 30 hours. The state government is likely to ease the restrictions and take the pressure off livelihood sources by allowing all non-essential shops and business establishments across the districts to operate till 7 pm.
However, complete unlock is unlikely with Rath Yatra round the corner, sources informed.
While educational institutions, shopping malls, cinema halls and swimming pools are likely to remain closed and restrictions on meetings, social gatherings and the opening of temples may continue as before, other sectors will see relaxations. The cap on marriage and cremation is also likely to be relaxed.
The government may allow gyms and Yoga centres to open with 50 per cent capacity and certain conditions on the lines of West Bengal.
Night curfew (9 pm to 5 am) and weekend shutdown, however, will remain in force for the next 15 days as a precautionary measure.
A senior official said the shutdown is likely to be limited to Sunday in around 14 districts.
FACTORING IN CASELOAD & TPR
While extending the lockdown on June 17, the government had tagged 17 southern and western districts where the positivity rate is 5 per cent or less under Category A and 13 coastal and interior districts having a high positivity rate under Category B.
Shops were allowed to remain open from 6 am to 5 pm in Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Rayagada.
In the remaining 13 coastal districts – Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Angul, Dhenkanal, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak and Keonjhar – shops for essential goods could function between 6 am and 1 pm.
The sources said that test positivity rate (TPR) and active caseload will be taken into account while deciding to further ease the curbs in some districts.
Balasore and Malkangiri are in the RED zone with a TPR of 13.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Except for Khurda, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj and Bhadrak, which are in the ORANGE zone, the rest 20 districts are in the GREEN zone with TPR of less than 5 per cent.
In active cases, Khurda (5239), Cuttack (3921), Balasore (2988) and Jajpur (2692) are in the RED zone. As many as 21 districts are in GREEN ZONE with less than 1000 active cases and the rest in the ORANGE zone.
All business and economic activities are likely to be resumed at the earliest in some districts, where TPR and active cases have dropped significantly in the last weeks, the sources said adding that COVID guidelines will be implemented strictly in those that are showing an increase in the rate of infection.
WILL NORMS BE RELAXED IN ODISHA CAPITAL?
Bhubaneswar is also expecting some relaxation in the lockdown measures as the TPR here has remained below 5 per cent for the last two days.
Besides, around 50 per cent of the targeted population in the city have also been administered both doses of Covaxin and efforts are on to vaccinate all with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 10, a Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.