The State took the decision after a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases of more than 10,000 reported and given its additional vulnerability of sharing borders with West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
As coronavirus cases breached the 10,000 mark in Odisha, the State announced a 14-day lockdown from May 5 till May 19. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who has stepped in to help other States overcome their oxygen crisis, took the decision after the State reported a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases and given its additional vulnerability of sharing borders with West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
In the 19-page notification, the Government of Odisha stated, “There shall be lockdown throughout the State with effect from May 5, 2021 (Wednesday) till 5 am of May 19, 2021 (Wednesday). However, there shall be a complete shutdown on weekends starting 6 pm of Fridays till 5 am of Mondays”. The notification further states that the lockdown is primarily aimed at restricting movement of persons, movement of goods and goods carriers shall not be affected by the lockdown.
The vaccination drive shall continue subject to the availability of vaccines and citizens are allowed to travel for the same using their own vehicles, autos or taxis. Those who require to be tested are also exempted from any restrictions on travel.
Buses for public transport, intrastate movement of individuals by road, except for medical reasons or essential services are prohibited during the lockdown. While all educational, training, coaching institutions are to remain shut, the physical conduct of examinations by State/national and international bodies shall be allowed on a case to case basis.
All exhibitions, trade fairs, melas, physical business to business meetings are banned. Cinema halls, malls, market complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theaters, bars and auditoriums, open air theaters are banned. Salons, barber shops, spa, beauty parlors to remain shut. All gatherings including social, political, sports, entertainment, academics are banned. Religious places and places of worship are closed to the public, religious congregations are banned. However, places of worship shall be allowed to conduct rituals with a minimum staff. Marriages are allowed with permission of local authorities with a maximum of 50 guests. Not more than 20 people can attend funerals.
During the lockdown, all health services will remain open. These include hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, clinics, tele-medicine facilities, veterinary hospitals, manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical oxygen, construction of health infrastructure including manufacturing of ambulances. Inter and intrastate movement of all medical and veterinary staff has been allowed.
Banking services, ATMs, non-banking financial institutions, cooperative credit societies will continue to function. Public utilities including oil and gas, power, postal services, water supply and telecommunication are allowed to function. Ration shops also to remain open. Street corners road side shops dealing with essential commodities like grocery, fruits, vegetables, milk, and food are allowed to open on weekdays between 6 am till 12 noon, however, daily and weekly markets are shut.
Restaurants and dhabas are allowed to open but only for takeaways. Online delivery by e-commerce platforms has been allowed. Hotels, lodges, homestays, motels are allowed to remain open. Services of self-employed people such as electricians, plumbers, mechanics have been allowed. All agricultural and horticultural practices are allowed to remain fully functional. Industrial establishments have been allowed to operate with 50% of their capacity. There is no prohibition on construction activities.
The central government offices will remain open with 100% attendance of staff of ranks of the deputy secretary and above, for the rest, attendance is up to 33%. All departments of the State government shall work with restricted staff.
During the weekend shutdown, all commercial establishments including good and vegetable shops will be closed. However, medical shops are allowed to remain open.
The Odisha government has also issued detailed guidelines involving gram panchayats to combat the disease at the grassroots level. Guidelines have also been issued to district collectors and municipal commissioners to identify and demarcate those areas as containment zones which have a positivity rate of more than 10% and bed occupancy, with oxygen or ICU at 60%.
The strategy of ‘test-track-treat-vaccinate’ would be continued. Officers have been asked to prepare an estimate of the medical infrastructure needed now and after one month in terms of oxygen supported beds, ICU beds, ventilators, ambulances, makeshift hospitals. Quarantine facilities are also going to be re-activated. Specific monitoring shall be done for high risk cases. Focus also would be on coordinating the availability of oxygen and other life-saving drugs.