By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 16, 2020: Odisha government on Thursday announced imposition of a complete 14-day lockdown in four districts and a municipal Corporation area from 9 pm on Friday till 31 July midnight in the wake of rising novel coronavirus cases in certain districts.

“The complete lockdown will be imposed in Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur district and Rourkela Municipal Corporation area from 9 pm of July 17 to July 31 midnight,” Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy told media persons.

Like in the past months, during the lockdown, all shops and commercial establishments, offices and institutions shall remain closed and mobility of people will be restricted.

However, shops selling vegetables, groceries and milk will be allowed to remain ope between 6 am to 1 pm. Home delivery of essential food items will also be allowed.

“Delivery of food, groceries, vegetables, egg, fish, meat and other essential items by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, OPOLFED, OMFED, Chilika Fresh etc.,” the government order added.

However, essential services and movement of workers associated with these services and other mentioned by the state government in the order will be permitted during this lockdown.

Those include Defence Central Armed Police Forces, Treasury including Pay & Accounts Offices, Financial Advisers and Field Offices of the Comptroller General of Accounts with bare minimum staff, Central Government offices on emergency duty, Post Offices, Telecom Services including their maintenance offices and movement of associated personnel etc, the state government said in a statement.

All medical establishments including government and private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, including medicine stores will function during the lockdown as well as movement of ambulance and all medical personnel including doctors and paramedics will be allowed.

Besides, there will be no restriction to air, sea and rail transport. “Movement of Public Transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stands/stops, for facilitating movement of passengers by air, rail and road,” the statement read.

Operations of E-commerce establishments such as Flipkart, Amazon etc., including their warehousing and delivery activities will also be allowed. Marriages and Funerals, with permission of local authority can take place.

The state government also said barring these exemptions, “all enforcing authorities to note that these strict restrictions fundamentally relate to movement of people, but not that of goods.”

It also ordered the local police of these five districts to take all necessary actions for enforcement and implementation of the Covid-19 measures.

Meanwhile, Odisha’s Covid-19 caseload crossed the 15,000-mark on Thursday with 494 more people testing positive for the infection, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll in the state to 79, a senior health official said.

The fresh cases reported from 23 districts have taken the state’s count to 15,392, he said.

Of the 494 new cases, 322 were reported from quarantine centres, while 172 are contacts of Covid-19 patients, the official said.

Ganjam, the worst-hit district in the state, reported the highest number of fresh cases at 246, taking its caseload to 4,867. Khurda reported 64 new cases, Cuttack 38 and Balasore registered 21.

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