By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 30, 2021: The Odisha government on Wednesday announced to continue partial lockdown in the state for another fortnight till 16 July. The present COVID-related lock down restrictions will end at 5 AM on Thursday.

Thought it has lifted weekend curfew from 20 districts that have positivity rate of less than five per cent, night curfew will continue in all districts. The night curfew will remain in force between 6pm to 6am on all days.

In 10 districts where the positivity rate is more than five per cent, the weekend shutdown and night curfew will continue.

The state government has divided the 30 districts into A and B categories. Twenty districts where the test positivity rate (TPR) remains less than five per cent are in the A category, while the remaining 10 coastal districts, where the number of cases is high, are in the B category, Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said.

Night curfew from 6 PM to 6 AM shall remain in force across the state but people and services in the essential category shall be permitted to move during the restricted hours, he said.

There will be no weekly shutdown in category A districts and shops will remain open from 6 AM to 6 PM. Buses will be allowed to ply with passengers up to the seating capacity and taxis and autorickshaws can carry a maximum of two passengers.

Daily markets and weekly haats can open, small salons can function, street food vendors can operate takeaway businesses, while outdoor and indoor film shooting has been permitted in these districts.

Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar are category A districts.

The weekend shutdown and night curfew will continue in the B-category districts such as Nayagarh, Cuttack, Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Shops can open from 6 AM to 2 PM but shopping malls, spas and beauty parlours shall continue to remain closed. Bus services won’t restart now.

Opening of the weekly markets has not been allowed in these districts.

Mohapatra further informed, religious and educational institutions and cinema halls shall continue to remain closed. The ban on public gatherings, trade fairs, exhibitions and jatra (theatre) shall continue across Odisha.

The restrictions on weddings and funerals shall also continue, he said.

Agriculture, construction, fisheries and other livelihood and essential services, and related activities will continue as usual, he informed adding that the state government decided to extend the partial lockdown keeping in view the prevailing situation, while an effort was made to strike a balance between life and livelihood.

The lock down was first imposed on May 5 following the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and was repeatedly extended since then.

Odisha’s COVID-19 death toll breached the 4,000-mark on Wednesday as the state reported 48 more fatalities due to the infection, the highest single-day count, a health department official said.

The new fatalities raised the toll to 4,018, he said. At least 3,371 fresh coronavirus cases pushed the tally to 9,09,800.

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