Bhubaneswar: The eight-day lockdown in five districts and 8 towns of Odisha for containing the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) began today.
Roads and markets in the state wore a deserted look as public transport vehicles stayed off the roads while most of the shops and business establishments remained closed due to ‘Janata Curfew’ across the country for today.
The lockdown will be in force in five districts — Khordha, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapara and Angul as well as eight major towns — Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur road, Jajpur town and Bhadrak from 7.00 am on March 22 till 9.00 pm on March 29.
These are the districts where more than 70 per cent of the total 3,200 foreign returnees belong to, said a statement from CMO.
Hospitals, clinics, medical shops, grocery shops, restaurants (only takeaways and home deliveries) vegetables, meat and milk shops/bread and bakery (but selling of tea and other beverages in the same premises have to be closed), Railways, bus stands and airports will be open as well as public transport.
The administrative functions, police, health, fire, electricity, water, municipal services, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps shall remain open along with private establishments that support the above services or are linked to the fight against coronavirus.
In the five districts and eight towns, all distribution of benefits such as pension and PDS are postponed for the time being. Private companies will be advised to encourage work from home. All service providers, including private sector engaged in tackling the COVID-19 crisis will be declared as Emergency Workers.