Odisha imposes weekend shutdown in 10 districts, night curfew in all towns

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 17 (PTI) The Odisha government Saturday imposed a weekend shutdown in 10 districts bordering Chhattisgarh and implemented night curfew in all urban areas across the state in a bid to check the spread of COVID-19.

The coastal state has registered as many as 22,822 fresh cases in 17 days.

The shutdown was imposed in the districts of Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri all bordering Chhattisgarh, where the number of active cases stood at 1,24,303 on Saturday.

Four districts Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Nuapada and Khurda district were classified as 'red zones'.

Normal life was severely affected in the 10 districts as all business establishments and educational institutions were shut, and road communication crippled, officials said.

No restriction was imposed on industries, which continued operations with adherence to safety protocols, and essential services, said Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena.

'All industries and related activities will continue without any restriction during the night curfew and weekend shutdown, following COVID-19 guidelines,' Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said in a statement.

The night curfew has been implemented both in urban and rural areas of the region bordering Chhattisgarh, an official said.

The duration of the curfew in the urban areas of the 10 districts is 6 pm to 5 am and 9 pm to 5 am in rural areas.

Rourkela SP M K Bhamoo said legal action will be taken against violators of the pandemic norms.

According to an earlier announcement, Jena said night curfew has been imposed in urban areas of all the 20 other districts from Saturday, including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri, from 9 pm to 5 am.

A Shree Jagannath Temple Administration official said devotees are urged to vacate the temple premises by 8 pm.

Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) P C Chaudhury said people should not engage in panic buying as the administration has made arrangements for adequate stock.

A top police officer said prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in order to ensure that people abide by the norms of the night curfew.

Taking to Twitter, the Odisha Police said, 'On the last day of the special Covid enforcement drive, police acted against 9,032 violators of mask usage and social distancing rules and collected a fine of Rs 27,40,040 in the last 24 hours.' Meanwhile, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry has called upon the state government to not opt for lockdown as it would have an adverse impact on the economy. PTI AAM RBT RBT