The Odisha government on Wednesday extended the partial lockdown for two more weeks till July 1. The state has been divided in two categories on the basis of COVID-19 positivity rate, a senior official said. The restrictions will be in force till 5 am of July 1, Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra said. The weekend shutdowns on Saturdays and Sundays will also continue across Odisha till the end of the month. Under Category A, there are 17 districts located in the southern and western parts of the state where the positivity rate is five per cent or less, while 13 districts in the coastal regions feature in Category B.
In Category A (Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Balangir, Ganjam, Kandhamal, Koraput), shops for essential goods will remain open from 6 am to 5 pm. The timing for such shops in districts listed in Category B will be 6 am to 1 pm, he added.
Some of the Category B districts are Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Kedrapada, Dhenkanal, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Mr Mohapatra said, the state government has also allowed sweet shops to open on the condition that these will only provide parcels. Street vendors selling food items in Category A districts can resume business, too, but on take-away basis.
The chief secretary said morning walks will be permitted from 6 am to 9 am, though parks will remain closed till July 1. All essential services, industrial and construction activities, and transport of goods will be allowed. Public bus services would however not be available.
The senior official said district authorities are empowered to impose further restrictions if there is a rise in COVID-19 cases. The borders with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand will now be open keeping in mind the decline in the number of infections in these states, but restrictions will continue along the borders with West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.