Bhubaneswar, May 18: With Covid cases in the State still at a high level, the Odisha Government on Tuesday extended the lockdown for two more weeks till 5 AM of June 1.
The Government took the decision to extend the lockdown after noticing positive trends in the last 15 days. The COVID-19 situation continues to be grim with alarming rise of infection in rural and interior parts of the State.
Making the announcement, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said, “Keeping this changed situation in mind, the State Government decided to further extend the lockdown period for two more weeks.”
The rate of positivity in the State has remained stagnant during the two-week long lockdown.
The weekend shutdown will also continue, said Mahapatra.
The Government reduced the period of relaxation for buying essentials from earlier six hours (6 AM-12 noon) to four hours (7 AM-11AM) from Monday to Friday.
The revised time will come into force from May 19 (Wednesday).
“There will be no restriction on movement of goods and construction materials, but the movement of people will be strictly regulated,” said the Chief Secretary.
The Chief Secretary also said the total number in congregation in social gatherings like marriage function, thread ceremony, cremation and other rituals after death, has been halved from 50 to 25.
Livelihood activities in agriculture and allied sectors and shops dealing with these sectors will be allowed to function normally as earlier, said the Chief Secretary. Similarly, construction activities have been kept out of the purview of the lockdown restriction, added he.
The Chief Secretary said that offices of the State Government, Central Government and private sector including banks will function with bare minimum staff strength. A separate guideline for this will be issued by the State Government soon, said the CS.
Chief Secretary Mohapatra also said that COVID-19 testing and vaccination will continue unhindered.