Odisha announces new Covid-19 lockdown from May 19 to June 1, medical services, essential movement exempted
With the existing curfew ending on May 19, the government of Odisha on Tuesday announced a new lockdown in the entire state starting from Wednesday (May 19) until 5am on June 1 with limited exceptions. Also, a complete weekend shutdown has been implemented between 6pm on Fridays and 5am on Mondays to curb the transmission of the coronavirus.
In the government order shared by the news agency ANI, the state government has exempted few services such as the health services, financial sector, public utilities and commercial establishments selling essential goods.
The announcement came on a day when the state recorded 10,321 new infections and 22 related deaths on Tuesday, which pushed the cases tally to 633,302 and the death toll to 2,357, news agency PTI reported, citing a state health department official.
Under the new restrictions, all health services in the state such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and telemedicine facilities would remain functional. In addition, pharmacies and medical shops, including the Jan Aushadhi Kendras, have been allowed to function normally. Inter-state and intrastate Movement of medical personnel, scientists, para medical staff, nurses, midwives and lab technicians have also been exempted.
Banks, ATMs, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and all financial entities regulated by the RBI and similar institutions have been allowed to operate based on the existing guidelines. The state government also encouraged non-banking financial institutions to operate with “bare minimum staff.”
In its order, the state government also said that public utilities such as railway, airport and seaport operations would continue as per the guidelines issued by the Centre. “Operation of utilities, including movement of vehicles and personnel, providing telecommunications, DTH and internet services, including maintenance of telecom towers and recharge facilities for prepaid mobile connection,” would also be exempted, the government order noted, saying “efforts shall be made to provide on-line services rather than physical services.”
While the government has exempted shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat, fish, animal fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, it has also encouraged district authorities to facilitate home delivery to minimise the movement of people.
Standalone shops dealing with food and the above-mentioned items can operate between 7am and 11am with strict adherence to existing protocols. All weekly and daily markets have been prohibited. Only takeaway services have been allowed in restaurants. However, all e-commerce operations have been exempted from the curfew.
Odisha had previously implemented a 14-day lockdown between May 5 and May 19 to control the new infections of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).