Keeping in view the emergence of Delta plus variant of concern in Deogarh, Odisha is unlikely to go for complete withdrawal of lockdown restrictions from coming Thursday (July 1). The big news is the State is likely to allow operation of all non-essential shops across the districts. But as a precautionary measure will continue the night curfew and weekend shutdown for next 15-days.
As per a review undertaken, Keonjhar district will now be included in the Category A. Between June 16 and 27, situation has shown good improvement in districts like Mayurbhanj and Jagatsinghpur. However, the scenario is still worrisome in as many as 6 category B districts.
The districts where the situation is yet to attain saturation are : Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack, Khordha, Dhenkanal and Puri. During the last fortnight, the epidemic scenario in the districts of Jajpur, Kendrapada and Angul has turned better.
"The night curfew hours in around 14 districts may see relaxation. For the next 15-days, the night curfew in the districts will be from 9 pm to 5 am. Moreover, all shops and business establishments will continue their operations till 7 pm on weekdays. A decision of limiting the shutdown to only on Sunday in the districts is on the cards," informed a senior official in the State Home Department.
As per highly placed sources, the State government decides to give more relaxations in the districts that have not only low weekly test positive rates for over 14-days or more but also have very low active caseload.
In the yardstick formulated by State government, the districts of Jharsuguda, Ganjam, Gajapati, and Balangir secured the top ratings. The districts of Sambalpur, Sonepur and Kalahandi finished second to the 4 districts. Bargarh, Boudh, Nabarangpur and Kandhamal followed the second lot of districts.
"In the performing districts, the government is in favour of resuming all business and economic activities at the earliest. However, it has been decided to refrain from a sort of complete unlock," the senior official explained.
In the districts of Koraput, Rayagada and Malkangiri, the epidemic scenario has been stabilising. A fluctuation is observed in Nuapada. The epidemiological parameters in the districts of Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj have posted significant gains in between June 16 and 27. A decline in test positive rate has also been observed in districts like Kendrapada, Jajpur and Angul during the period.
The Worrisome Lot
Even after a month, post the peak, epidemic scenario in the districts of Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack, Khordha, Dhenkanal, Nayagarh and Jajpur are yet to saturate. Any greater relaxations in the districts hold the risk of fuelling the epidemic curve in the State, informed the senior official.
The Key Relaxations
• In the 'Performing' districts, all shops and business establishment will be allowed to function till 7pm
• Precautionary night curfew to continue from 9 pm -5 am.
• The performing districts may see only Sunday shutdown.
• In 'Aspirant' districts, all shops - essential and non-essential will remain open till 5pm
• In 'Worrisome' districts essential and non-essential shops will remain open till 2pm.
What Will Not Be Allowed
• Closure order will continue for saloons, spas, cinema halls, theatre, multiplexes etc.
• Decision on opening malls in performing districts will be decided by the respective district administrations in due course.
• Public transport to remain suspended.
• Educational institutes and coaching centres to remain shut till July 15.
• Curbs on hotels and restaurants services to continue, except for home delivery.
• Curbs on social, political and religious gatherings to remain in force.
• Public will be barred from visiting places of worship