Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar:  Amid the rising coronavirus cases in the country, a voluntary shutdown following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for 'Janta Curfew' has begun today. All the commercial and business establishments baring essential services are closed in Odisha. Extending support to the Janta curfew, all the public transport vehicles including buses, taxis, autorickhaws have also stayed off the roads across the State today.

The self-imposed nation-wide Janta curfew began at 7 am and will continue till 9 pm today. People need to stay indoors during the period.

“We have decided to stay inside our homes and it is a good initiative of the government. Staying indoors under such crucial times holds the key in fighting coronavirus,” said Kishore Acharya, a resident of Cuttack.

Though all the major streets including Badambadi, Buxi Bazar, Dolmundai, Ranihat wore deserted look, police at other parts of the city were seen urging people not to move on roads unless they had important works.

Also Read: Covid-19: Janta Curfew On Sunday, Lockdown In Odisha As Local Transmission Pies Up In India At 58%

The impact of Janta curfew and lockdown was also felt in Bhubaneswar today. All the roads in the capital city wore a deserted look. Residents extending support to the Janta curfew and lockdown announced by Odisha government to fight and check the spread of coronavirus.

Adequate deployment of police force has been made by Commissionerate Police to ensure that no other persons other than those engaged in essential services step out of their homes.

Senior officials of Commissionerate Police informed that passes are being issued to people and commuters so that they do not face problems in reaching airport, railway station in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

Private vehicles will not be allowed to ply during the lockdown period in Odisha from March 22 to March 29 except those belonging to persons engaged in organisations/agencies permitted to operate as listed in Notification. Such persons shall carry valid ID proof/documents.

PM Modi has urged people to voluntarily stay indoors as part of the long-term strategy to check the spread of coronavirus. The self-imposed curfew seems to be the key to containing the spread of COVID-19 by breaking the chain of infection through social distancing. It is seen as a symbol of self-restraint and duty towards the nation.

As per PM's clarion, people have been requested to express gratitude to lakhs of people involved in maintaining essential and emergency services during the crisis. At 5 pm, people have been urged to stand at their doors and balconies of their homes and give a five-minute ovation by clapping hands, beating plates or ringing bells.

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No passenger train will originate from any railway station in the country from morning to 10 PM today.

Besides, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus, Odisha yesterday announced a near lockdown for five districts and eight towns till March 29.

The unprecedented decision of Odisha makes it the second state after Maharashtra to take this extraordinary step to combat the growing novel coronavirus cases nationally.

The five districts- Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapada and Angul, and the eight cities- Sambalpur, Rourkela, Puri, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur Road, Jajpur and Bhadrak, have been lockdown as per the Odisha government's order.

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