Bhubaneswar/ New Delhi:
In Odisha, over 2,000 people have died due to Covid so far. (File)
A 14-day lockdown has been announced in Odisha between May 5 and May 19 to break the chain of transmission as the state sees a spike in Covid cases like the rest of the country, hit by a devastating second wave.
"There shall be lockdown throughout the state with the effect from May 5 (Wednesday) till 5 am of May 19 (Wednesday). However, there shall be a complete shutdown on weekends, starting from 6 pm on Fridays to 5 am on Mondays," the order issued by the Odisha government said, news agency ANI reported. There are no restrictions on healthcare or other emergency services.
Odisha has logged 4.5 lakh cases since the start of the pandemic; 10.413 infections were recorded just yesterday, as per the Health Ministry data.
"During the lockdown, intra-state movement of individuals by road, except for medical reasons and for activities permitted, will be prohibited," the order said.
Malls, cinema halls, educational institutions, salons will also remain close during the lockdown.
Last week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said after a Covid review meet: "We are in the midst of a severe crisis in the country. Many states and metro cities are witnessing a huge strain on the healthcare system. We need to be extremely cautious and alert in ensuring all measures to manage the situation in Odisha."
Yesterday, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi extended the lockdown for a third straight week as the national capital continues to witness a rise in Covid caseload. The struggle of patients in finding a hospital bed or basic resources such as medical oxygen has made global headlines.
On Saturday, India reported over 4 lakh cases in 24 hours in a new grim global record. This morning, the caseload surged to 1.95 crore with 3.92 lakh fresh cases.
AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria, while speaking to NDTV on Saturday, said India's healthcare system is "stretched to the limit" and "aggressive lockdowns" - like the one imposed in March last year - in areas with positivity rates over 10 per cent are needed to contain the second COVID-19 wave. "We have to work aggressively to bring this number down. No healthcare system in the world can manage this kind of load. The issue of aggressive containment or lockdown, or whatever, is key," he stressed.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)