Odisha government has declared a state-wide 14 days’ lockdown from coming Wednesday in view of the surge in covid-19 infection. Informing this to the media a short while ago, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said, the lockdown will be effective from the 5th of May till 5 am of 19th of May. He said, the weekend shutdown will however continue as usual.
Close on the heels of night curfew and weekend shut down, lockdown returns to the state to break the chain of the highly transmissible mutant varieties of the virus that is almost on a rampage. The state that used to report a peak of 4 to 5 thousand infections per day, during the first wave of the pandemic last year, has suddenly been confronted with the intra-day highs between 8 to 10 thousand new cases.
The 14 days’ statewide lockdown that aims at an early arrest of the virus, however will not impact certain essential activities including health services, covid test, vaccination and movement of goods, among others. Certain utility services like petrol pumps, cooking gas, ATM and postal service have also been exempted from the lockdown. People will be allowed to walk down to the nearest roadside or street corner shops within 500 metres of their residence to purchase food items on all week days only between 6 in the morning to 12 noon.
While marriage functions with a cap of 50 participants and funeral related rituals with a maximum of 20 participants will be allowed with prior approval and with full adherence to covid 19 protocols, all sorts of socio, religious , political, cultural, sports and entertainment related congregations will remain barred during the period.