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Odisha Fights Coronavirus: Grocery, Other Shops to remain open in Bhubaneswar-Cuttack

Bhubaneswar: Clearing apprehension among people over possible shortage of essential commodities, Commissionerate Police on Monday clarified that while shopping malls in twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar will remain closed till March 31, the closure order will not cover shops and commercial establishments selling groceries, vegetables, fruits, milk, medicines and other daily essential requirements.

Earlier yesterday, the Twin City Commissioner of Police had ordered closure of all malls in the cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack till March 31 as per Section 35 of the Odisha Urban Police Act.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Railway Begins Thermal Screening Of Passengers In Running Trains

In its latest notification, Commissionerate Police clarified that there is likelihood of outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic in the jurisdiction of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Hence, it is necessary to enforce social distancing measures by preventing people in congregating in large numbers. Issuing an advisory, Commissionerate Police asked all commercial establishments, government offices to put special social distancing measures including limiting the number of persons entering the premises at any given time.

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The commercial establishments have been asked to maintain a six-meter distance between customers and employees. The advisory further states that no promotional events, non-essential meetings and conferences can be held.

Owners, managers of commercial establishments and other offices have been asked to ensure strict hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes of their employees and provide soaps, water and alcohol-based sanitizers. All the door knobs, keyboards, handles, tables and other articles need proper sanitisation, the advisory read.

Senior officials of Commissionerate Police informed that the order will come to effect from today and any establishment failing to comply with the above orders shall be liable for fine, prosecution and closure.

Also Read: Coronavirus Positive Patient In Bhubaneswar: Govt Clamps Prohibitory Orders, Shuts Malls, Public Places

Police officers above the rank of assistant sub-inspectors will visit commercial establishments and will take appropriate legal action based on the fresh notification.

In view of the outbreak of coronavirus, acting Chief Justice and Judges of Orissa  High Court today directed that functioning of the court shall be restricted to urgent matters and routine matters will not be taken up for the time being till the threat persists.

Only those cases which are urgent in nature and cannot await will be mentioned before the Deputy Registrar (Judicial) during the mention hour.  Personal appearance of the parties unless the same is indispensable would not be insisted and no adverse order will be passed for the absence of any lawyer or litigant on account of illness.

Odisha government today sanctioned Rs 225 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the containment of COVID-19.

At a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy today sanctioned the amount in favour of Health and Family Welfare Department.

As per official sources, the fund will be utilised for undertaking several measures including quarantine, sample collection, screening, provision for temporary accommodation, food, medical care for people sheltered in quarantine camps, cluster containment operations and setting up of additional testing labs and procurement of essential equipment and personal protective gears.

So far only one coronavirus positive case has been reported in Odisha while several others are under home isolation. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has appealed people to practise social distancing and refrain from spreading rumours and misinformation about COVID19.

“Each one of us has to be committed as an individual and each family has to act as a responsible unit to protect ourselves and others from this pandemic. Personal inconveniences will be faced and families may have to make sacrifices, but extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response,” Patnaik had said in his appeal yesterday.

Meanwhile, an engineering student, who had returned from Kazakhstan on March 7, today admitted to MKCG hospital in Berhampur for Coronavirus testing after complaining of fever and shortness of breath. Currently, four persons are admitted to MKCG hospital out of which two have tested negative.

On the other hand, the Puri district administration today imposed Section 144 at Chandrabhaga & Puri sea beaches.

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