Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Stepping up the measures to fight coronavirus pandemic, the Odisha government on Monday suspended all intra-state bus services (both inter region and intra region) with effect from tomorrow.

The intra-state bus services will remain suspended until further orders, the State Transport Authority (STA) informed a day after the State government suspended all interstate bus services to contain further spread of coronavirus.

“It is imperative to adopt strict social distancing and isolation measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, which is playing havoc in many countries across the world including India,” stated a circular issued by the General Administration and Public Grievance Department.

According to the circular, intra-state bus movement has been suspended until further order from 11 AM on March 24. Similarly, city bus services in all the urban local bodies in the state shall remain suspended until further order from the midnight today.

The Transport Commissioner has been directed to implement the order and find out suitable modalities.

On the other hand, the State government has constituted a seven-member team of bureaucrats headed by water resources department secretary Surendra Kumar to monitor smooth movement of goods into the State and within the State.

The government has also issued a toll-free number 155335 to ensure smooth transportation and supply of essential commodities in the State. The retailers and members of goods transporters' association can dial the toll-free number to register their complaints.

Also Read: Odisha Lays Out Covid-19 Plan, Lockdowns To Prevent N-CoV Becoming Epidemic In State

Notably, the State government has framed the Odisha COVID-19 Regulation, 2020 and taken series of measures for prevention and containment of Coronavirus. The government has ordered lockdown in 14 districts and also decided to close over 72,000 Anganwadi Centres (AWC) operational across the State till April 30.

Till now, Odisha has reported two coronavirus positive cases in the State. The condition of two patients who are undergoing treatment at Capital Hospital and AIIMS Bhubaneswar is stable.

Earlier, Indian Railways has announced the closure of all passenger rail services across the nation till March 31. According to an order issued by the railways, only goods trains will run from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight.

Also Read: Coronavirus: Indian Railways Cancels All Passenger, Express Trains Till March 31

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said the total positive cases in India has reached 415 after 19 fresh cases were reported from across the country.