Odisha to relax lockdown partially from June 17
The Odisha government on Wednesday announced unlock plans to relax the restrictions imposed across the state since May to check the Covid-19 infection.
Chief secretary Suresh Mohapatra announced guidelines for the state starting Thursday, June 17.
Lockdown will be lifted in 17 districts, put in category A, between 6am and 5pm as these have the test positivity rate below 5, and an active caseload of less than 1,000. Test positivity rate is the number of cases testing positive out of the total samples tested for an infection. These districts are Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Deogarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Rayagada and Boudh.
In 13 other states, slotted in Category B, most of which have a TPR above 7.5% and an active caseload of over 2,000, the lockdown will be lifted between 6am and 1pm. These are: Khurda, Cuttack, Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Dhenkanal, Angul, Keonjhar and Nayagarh.
“The Covid-19 infection rate has drastically declined and the TPR has come down to 6% this week ...The peak period in the state is over and I hope if people continue to coordinate with the government, the situation can be completely brought under control in few days,” said the chief secretary.
All essential shops, including sweet shops and roadside eateries, would be allowed to open during these hours. However, these eateries can only provide takeaways.Cycle (sale) and automobile repair shops will also be allowed to open from July 17.
Morning walk, cycling and jogging activities will be allowed till 9am but parks and gyms will remain closed.
All the restrictions regarding marriage, cremation, meetings, social gatherings, opening of temples will continue as before, as per the partial unlocking measures. All essential services, transport of goods, industrial activities, construction activities will be allowed but public bus services have been restricted.
The Covid-19 lockdown was initially imposed in the state from May 5 to May 17. It was first extended to June 1 and subsequently to June 17 following the rise in the infection in the state.
Though the rate of infection has come down across the state, the daily deaths continued to remain above 40 for last 11 days. On Wednesday, 44 persons succumbed to the infection, taking the total Covid fatalities to 3,432.
Officials in the health department said the government is planning to vaccinate all the eligible beneficiaries. So far, over 8.9 million people have been given at least one dose while more than 1.2 millions are fully vaccinated. “The state government plans to raise the daily vaccination target to 300,000 so that those eligible can be vaccinated before the onset of a possible third wave. Everything, however, depends upon vaccine availability,” said nodal officer for Covid vaccination, Dr Bijay Panigrahi.
To be sure, while overall vaccine supplies may be there at the state level, individual vaccination centres may run out of stock on account of how the states manage their replenishments.