More containment zones in Sundargarh, Jajpur as COVID-19 cases in Odisha rise

Bhubaneswar, Apr 26 (PTI) The Odisha government on Sunday declared more areas as containment zones to conduct active surveillance and aggressive contact- tracing after nine people tested COVID-19 positive in the last 24 hours.

Several areas in Jajpur and Sundargarh districts were sealed after they reported multiple new cases, officials said.

Some localities in Nala Road area of Rourkela city in Sundargarh district were declared containment zones, while about half-a-dozen villages under Katikata, Mallikapur and Birajapur gram panchayats of Jajpur were also classified as such and their all entry and exit points sealed, they said.

In Sundargarh, which reported three cases in the last 24 hours, the district administration said Nala Road area is 'highly sensitive' and asked people to refrain from venturing out.

All shops, offices and other establishments in the containment zone will remain shut, but people will be provided with essential supplies and medical support, district collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan said.

The administration barricaded the new containment zone where a massive sanitization drive was undertaken.

Similar restrictions were imposed in the new containment zones in Jajpur district where six new COVID-19 cases were detected on Saturday. All the patients had recently travelled to West Bengal.

'Though certain relaxations have been made elsewhere to allow the opening of some shops, these are not applicable in the containment zones,' according to Jajpur collector Ranjan Kumar Das.

Meanwhile, a 60-hour complete shutdown imposed in three northern districts of Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore on Thursday came to an end. Chief Secretary AK Tripathy had announcedthe shutdown following a spurt in COVID-19 cases in these districts.

Congratulating the people of the districts for supporting the police and the administration, Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay urged them to adhere to social distancing norms.

'I compliment residents of Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur districts for observing complete shutdown and cooperating with police and the administration in its implementation. I urge them to continue practicing social distancing,' the police chief said.

The DGP also praised the role played by the police during the shutdown.

Bhadrak district collector Gyana Das asked people to refrain from rushing to markets and crowd shops after lifting of the shutdown and said there is ample stock of essential items and vegetables.

'Therefore, people must not gather in large numbers in market areas and strictly adhere to the norms of social distancing,' the collector said.

During the shutdown, the administration in the three districts organised many testing camps in schools and collected over 3,000 samples.

Concrete steps were also taken to stop all incoming vehicles, including ambulances, from West Bengal to prevent the influx of migrants.

Odisha has so far reported 103 COVID-19 cases. While 34 of them have recovered, a 72-year-old man from Bhubaneswar has died. PTI SKN SBN SOM DPB