Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The restriction imposed on public movement from 7 PM to 7 AM across Odisha in the third phase of lockdown is aimed at preventing explosion of COVID19 cases as the government is gradually resuming economic activity, said Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissioner, Sudhanshu Sarangi.

While speaking exclusively to OTV, Sarangi said, "The 12-hour restriction on public movement is aimed at gradually resuming the economic activity without endangering lives of people. The restriction is applicable to all districts across all States irrespective of Red, Orange or Green zones."

"The Centre has made it clear that people should stay indoors and avoid non-essential movement from 7 PM to 7 AM to prevent COVID19 spread," Sarangi added.

Sharing details about exemptions allowed during the restricted hours, the police commissioner said, government officials and healthcare professionals involved in COVID19 management will be allowed to move during the period. Call centres, internet service providers, IT companies, media organisations, electricity department, water supply department can function during the night. Besides, petrol pumps will also remain open as usual during the period.

"Vehicles carrying essential products and migrants will be allowed free movement," Sarangi said.

"Time and again we have made it clear that at any time of the day patients are allowed free movement for treatment," he said.

"Though the aim of the government is to make economic activities free from restrictions in a phased manner, we have to keep in mind that we have to maintain social distancing as COVID-19 crisis is not past us," Sarangi added.

Sarangi said in case of deaths and funerals, people are being allowed to participate while following necessary COVID19 protocols. For marriages, the special relief commissioner (SRC) will release a detailed notification on whether such ceremonies are allowed or what SOP will to be followed, he informed.