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COVID19 Lockdown: 11 Odisha districts to enter 48-hour shutdown tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: In an effort to flatten the rising curve of COVID19 infections in Odisha, complete shutdown on Saturdays and Sundays will be implemented in 11 districts across the State from tomorrow.

The State government has issued notifications detailing out what will remain shut during the enforcement of the shutdown and what emergency services are exempted from the shutdown, which will be enforced all throughout the month of June.

According to the State government, healthcare services, drinking water and electricity supply, RBI, other clearing houses and ATM counters will remain open. Airport, railway stations and bus terminals will also function as usual. There will be no restriction on movement of people associated with these organisations.

Home delivery of food by restaurants and aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy, LPG distribution and newspaper hawkers (5am to 8am) have also been exempted. However, people engaged in such services have to carry their identity cards as well as vehicle passes. Taxis, auto-rickshaws and others in emergency services can use the passes issued by the police department. The police will also issue passes for marriages and funerals. In case of any other emergency situation, people are advised to dial helpline number 100 for passes.

“The weekend shutdown in 11 districts will begin from tomorrow. I appeal people not to venture out of their houses in case there is no emergency,” said Health Minister, Naba Kishore Das.

Police in 11 districts are gearing up for strict enforcement of the shutdown. Patrolling will also be intensified to ensure that people stay indoors during the shutdown.

“These efforts are to break the chain of Covid-19 infection. There will be massive force deployment in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to restrict non-essential movement. We appeal all to stay at home. People should carry identity cards in case they come out of their homes,” said Twin City Police Commissioner, Sudhanshu Sarangi.

Speaking about enforcement, Kendrapara Collector Samarth Varma said, “Except essential stores like medicine shops, all other shops will remain closed during the shutdown.”

“Those engaged in emergency services can work during the shutdown by taking the permission from the concerned organisations,” said Cuttack collector, Bhabani Shankar Chaini.

Ahead of the shutdown, markets across the State today witnessed unprecedented rush with people going on a buying spree to stock essential items. In view of high demand, the prices of essential commodities like potato and onion also witnessed a sharp increase in many places.

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(Edited by Bikram Keshari Jena)


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