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Odisha announces week-long ‘near total lockdown’ of 5 districts, 8 towns

In a video clip, Patnaik said, “Coronavirus has reached India. The number of affected (patients) is increasing. This virus has come from outside and does not have a specific treatment. Only awareness can stop the spread of this virus.”

Written by Sampad Patnaik | Bhubaneswar | Updated: March 22, 2020 2:28:02 am
Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson on the issue, said all distribution of benefits, such as PDS and pensions in the five districts and eight towns are “postponed for the time being”.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced a week-long “near-total lockdown” of five districts and eight towns, starting Sunday, to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.

In a video clip, Patnaik said, “Coronavirus has reached India. The number of affected (patients) is increasing. This virus has come from outside and does not have a specific treatment. Only awareness can stop the spread of this virus.”

The CM said that over the last few days, over 3,000 people have returned to Odisha from abroad, with 70 per cent belonging to Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapada and Anugul districts. “In the first phase, these five districts, along with (towns) Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Baleswar, Puri, Rourkela, Bhadrak, Jajpur Town, and Jajpur, will be under near total lockdown from March 22 0700 hours to March 29 2100 hours,” he announced.

Listing the exemptions, Patnaik said, “Bus, train and air services will remain operational. Grocery stores, vegetable markets, meat, poultry and medicine shops will be open. Hospitals, ATMs, municipality services, police, fire, ODRAF (Odisha Disaster rapid Action Force), petrol pumps, water, and electricity services will be provided. Administrative offices will also remain open.

“I have ordered (state) police to take stringent action against those who violate these restrictions in the interest of people,” he warned.

Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson on the issue, said all distribution of benefits, such as PDS and pensions in the five districts and eight towns are “postponed for the time being”.

Private firms are encouraged to work from home, said Bagchi, but if there is a need to go to office they would require a certificate from the concerned Collector.

“All service providers, including private sector engaged in combating COVID-19, will be declared as emergency workers,” Bagchi said.

Here’s a quick coronavirus guide for you to stay updated: Who all should be tested for Covid-19 and when? | How should you quarantine yourself? | How often (and how) should you clean your home? | What is the Janata Curfew announced by PM Modi? | Who are restricted from coming to India, and from when? | How long can the virus live on surfaces or in air around you? | Still more Coronavirus Q&A Explained news here

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