As Odisha is currently witnessing a declining trend in the daily number of COVID-19 cases and the partial lockdown restrictions for August are all set to expire on September 1 (6 AM), expectations are that the State government may come up with some more relaxations.
Latest Update: Covid Unlock Guidelines For September Announced; Weekend Shutdown Lifted, Night Curfew In Urban Areas
The government may go for complete unlock or some more relaxations in September. However, it is believed that the relaxation (if any) by the State government will be announced keeping in mind the rising number of Covid-19 cases among children in the 0-18 age group and the upcoming festive season.
While traders' organisations, especially in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, expect that the government may withdraw the weekend shutdown, Jatra artists have urged the government to relax night curfew stating that it is adversely affecting their livelihood.
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What May Open, What May Not From September 1:
-Weekend shutdown may be withdrawn in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri
-Night curfew is likely to be extended from the existing 8 pm-6 am to 10 pm-6 am
-Government may consider exceeding wedding (25) and thread ceremony (20) gatherings
-Physical classes for students from classes 1 to 9 may be permitted
Meanwhile, the Director of Odisha Health Services, Bijay Mohapatra said that maintaining social distancing, avoiding congregation are major factors to keep the infection at bay. "We will continue our surveillance and contact tracing. We will also take all measures for treatment facilities. The State government is looking into different aspects and announce the guidelines accordingly," said Mohapatra.
Also Read: Odisha September Unlock Guidelines For Marriage, Funeral And Other Gatherings; Check Details
"Our case load is decreasing, so I think there is no need for weekend shutdown. However, the night curfew should continue as it will not have much impact on livelihood," said health expert, Neeraj Mishra.
He further said that the government should impose restrictions during the festive season alike last year to contain the spread of the virus.
The secretary of Odisha Traders’ Association, Sudhakar Panda said that the daily count of Covid-19 cases is on a declining trend. Keeping that in mind, the State government should consider the lifting of weekend shutdown restrictions (Saturdays and Sundays) which are presently enforced in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Puri, he said.
"The government should consider shifting the night curfew timing to 10 pm instead of the existing 8 pm,” said Panda.
“We urge the State government to look into our livelihood prospects too. If the night curfew is lifted, lives of many artists will be saved,” said Jatra artist Braja Bihari Nayak.