Notwithstanding the spectre of third-wave looming large over Odisha, come July 16, the night curfew is likely to be tossed out from as many as 19 districts in the State. But coastal regions may see only relaxations in business hours, the State government seems to be in favour of gradual lifting of restrictions in the coastal districts of the State.
As per a recent review meeting along with the central team, the Covid-19 situation in each district, especially after relaxations were analysed. The review found a satisfactory situation in as many as 10 districts. The districts are Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Sonepur, Balangir, Nabarangpur, Gajapati, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur and Kandhamal. All these districts are now placed in Category A.
"During the last 15-days, the districts have shown a decline in weekly test positivity rate (WPR). The WPR is hovering in the range of 0.7 - 0.9 per cent, which shows the transmission is nil. In the prevailing scenario, the government is considering the lifting of the night curfew in the districts," informed a senior official in the State home Department.
As per highly placed sources, the State government is in favour of lifting off the night curfew in the entire western and southern districts of the State, including Ganjam and Kandhamal. "There is a proposal to lift night curfew from 19 districts," informed sources.
Big Blips To Fore
As per the review undertaken recently, though the pandemic scenario in the whole State seems to be well under control, in as many as 7 districts the effective transmission rate has increased to over 1, especially in the districts where the 12/7 unlock has been announced from July 1.
The districts are Deogarh, (where delta plus variant detected saw the R0 value increased to 1.53 on July 3, 48-hrs after 12/7 unlock), Jharsuguda (R0 value touched 1.35), Sundargarh (R0 value touched 1.30), Sambalpur (1.12), Kandhamal (1.05), Ganjam (1.03), Dhenkanal (1.06).
"In western Odisha, Balangir is the only district where the R0 value is on the consistent decline, despite unlock," informed highly placed sources and hastened to add that the R0 value is well under control and currently on the downslope across the State.
The rise in R0 value seems to be the sore point for the State government, but no significant changes in WPR have also been detected in the districts. Moreover, the active caseload has also been on the decline. These positives are seemingly outweighing the R0 value.
The Coastal Story
Even as the coastal regions have recorded a dip in R0 value, except Jagatsinghpur, the high active caseload and fluctuating WPR compel the State government to go slow in unlocking the districts.
"The State Government is for the gradual lifting of restrictions in the coastal region. Relaxations in business hours are on the cards. The shops may be allowed to do business till 6 pm in the evening. But there is no plan to lift the night curfew or weekend shutdown in July," informed the senior Home department official.
Locks To Stay On
- Places of worship.
- Only home delivery for Restaurants and Hotels in coastal areas
- Educational institutions may open only in August
- No leniency to coaching classes.
- No Inter-district bus transport in the coastal region
- No to cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes in coastal areas
However, after the opening of saloons, Govt may allow parlours and gyms to open from July 16.