As the partial lockdown in Odisha is going to expire on July 1, speculations are now rife whether the Twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will see relaxation in the COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days.
Active cases are still high in Khordha and Cuttack. Both the districts have currently more than 7000 active cases with over 1300 active cases in Bhubaneswar alone.
Though the COVID graph has dipped in many districts, the situation in Khordha, Puri, Cuttack, Balasore and Jajpur are still far from satisfactory.
The average Test Positivity Rate (TPR) of 10 districts- Khordha, Puri, Cuttack, Balasore, Nayagarh, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal and Bhadrak- is still more than 5 per cent.
So, all eyes are now set on the next announcement of the State government- whether it will go for some relaxation in these districts, especially in the Twin City or the existing restrictions will continue.
Here are some of the assumptions and questions related to the Odisha government’s upcoming announcement:
1. Weekend shutdown and night curfew may continue in the districts with high TPR
2. Will gyms and malls reopen, and bus services resume in these districts
3. Will the districts with over 5 per cent TPR get relaxation like the Category-A districts
4. All the districts may be divided into ‘High Risk’, ‘Moderate Risk’ and ‘Low Risk’ categories
5. Further relaxation in norms may be expected in districts with minimal TPR rate
Meanwhile, Cuttack collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said that the situation in the district is under control. “We are doing micro-containment zones at village, cluster and even family levels. I believe our TPR will decrease in the next 3-4 days,” he said.
“If the administration enforce COVID norms in a stricter manner, the positive cases will decrease in the district. Increase in the cases will not have any impact as loads on the hospitals have decreased and patients are recovering,” said Balasore CDMO Dulalsen Jagdev.
On the other hand, health experts believe that the COVID-19 restrictions should continue at some public places. “It’s difficult to maintain social distancing norms in parks, malls, temples and restaurants. So, the restrictions need to continue in these places.”
Director Of Public Health Niranjan Mishra said, “TPR is decreasing but people need to be cautious else, the cases might increase again. A decision regarding the partial unlock will be taken considering the phase-wise relaxation that we have been doing for different districts, he said.