Odisha extends lockdown till June 17 to curb Covid spread

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(Eds: With more inputs) Bhubaneswar, May 30 (PTI) The Odisha government on Sunday extended the lockdown by 16 more days till June 17 to further stem the spread of coronavirus.

The second phase of the lockdown was to end at 5 am on June 1. It will now continue till 5 am of June 17.

'The lockdown is primarily aimed at restricting movement of people and not goods. All restrictions and exemptions of the previous lockdowns will be implemented in the third phase, too,' Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said.

The weekend shutdown will also continue, he said.

'However, for three districts Nuapada, Gajapati and Sundergarh the relaxation period will be from 7 am till 1 pm, instead of 8 am to 11 am, from Monday to Friday, keeping in view the decline in COVID-19 cases in these places. This relaxation may be withdrawn if there is any sign of rise in infections,' Mohapatra said.

He said all businesses except saloons, parlours and malls are allowed to operate with strict Covid guidelines in the three districts.

Restrictions like a cap of 25 people at marriage functions and 20 people at funerals will continue, along with prohibition on mass feasts during such events.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department, P K Mohapatra said the second wave's peak period is over in Odisha, and hoped that the situation will improve further in the next 10 days.

Mohapatra said nine of the state's 30 districts, including Khurda, Cuttack, Balasore and Puri contribute 60 per cent of the total active cases.

He said there has been significant decline in positive cases in western Odisha districts bordering Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

On the vaccination front, Mohapatra said 98 per cent of healthcare workers and close to 100 per cent of frontline workers have so far been inoculated.

Nearly 30 per cent of people who are aged 45 and above have been vaccinated in the state.

'We have procured 3.82 crore doses of vaccines through global tender,' the senior state government official said.

Mohapatra added that the state has decided to set up one RT-PCR testing machine in hospitals in every district headquarter. PTI AAM RBT RBT