By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 2020: Odisha on Tuesday extended the period of all regulations in force over the Covid-19 threat from March 31 to April 15.

This has prompted panic-buying of essential items across the state.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted that the decision was taken as part of his government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.

“The regulation will be in force till 15th April which may be extended based on the situation. Appeal everyone to comply with the regulation and be part of Odisha’s efforts in protecting the people of the state from #COVID19,” the chief minister tweeted.

The government had on March 13 ordered the closure of all educational institutes, cinema halls, swimming pools and gymnasiums over the coronavirus threat.

Officials said people were hoarding essential items, as administration in several districts has asked shopping malls and retail stores to down shutters.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have come into force in several districts of the state, including Ganjam, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Angul and parts of Khurda and Puri, to prevent mass gathering of people, the officials said.
Tourists have been discouraged from visiting popular destinations, with several shrines, including Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, restricting entry of visitors, they added.

All companies, including IT firms, have been asked to adopt special safeguards.

According to a notification issued to IT companies by the Commissionerate of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, employees who have been to a foreign country will have to be quarantined for 14 days, during which they may work from home or avail leave as per company policies.

Also, if any employee has family members who have recently travelled to a foreign destination, he or she would have to submit a declaration and stay home for 14 days.

The notification will come into effect from March 17, 2020, Sarangi said, adding that any firm failing to comply with the orders shall be liable for prosecution under section 100 of Odisha Urban Police Act.

The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus was reported in Odisha on Monday after a researcher who recently returned from Italy tested positive for it.

The 33-year-old is being treated at Capital Hospital here.

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