Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik | Photo: PTI
government has warned people in Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak and Cuttack against venturing out into the streets in large numbers after the 48- hour 'total shutdown' imposed on the three cities amid the rise in Covid-19 cases - is lifted on Sunday evening.
Addressing a press meet here, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said sanitisation and surveillance were being conducted from time to time to ensure safety of people.
Dispelling fears of community spread, Tripathy also said that the shutdown was primarily imposed to investigate the Covid-19-positive cases in Surya Nagar and Bomikhal areas of the state capital.
"The Surya Nagar case can be traced back to Kolkata, while patients in Bomikhal locality had links with Bhopal. Therefore, as per our investigation, community transmission of Covid-19 can be ruled out to a large extent," he said.
The chief secretary, however, asserted that all restrictions imposed by the Centre and the state government would continue to remain in force. Strict action will be taken against those found flouting the social distancing norms, he stated.
"District collectors and police personnel have been asked to enforce social distancing in market places. People should not step out of homes in large numbers and create chaos (once the shutdown is lifted).
"The government will have no option but to implement tougher measures, in such circumstances, he said.
Tripathy further said that local authorities have been empowered to seal Covid-19 hotspots, if and when necessary, and carry out surveillance and trace contacts.
Maintaining that the state government has adopted best practices, in keeping with the guidelines issued by WHO, he said that the 48-hour shutdown, which ends at 8 pm on Sunday, was a complete success, and that similar steps might be taken in the days to come, if people were found violating rules.
Noting that around 80 per cent of COVID 19-positive patients did not exhibit symptoms initially, he said social distancing, if not maintained, could invite trouble.
The chief secretary urged community leaders and opinion makers to raise awareness on coronavirus
He also appealed to Tabligh Jamaat event attendees to come forward and register themselves with authorities, who would then arrange for their medical tests.
Three persons, including a religious leader, who had attended the event in Delhi's Nizamuddin have tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha.
Meanwhile, the administrations in Jajpur and Puri have imposed a shutdown in several pockets of the two districts on Saturday. The shutdown would remain in force till 8pm on April 6 in Jajpur, while district officials in Puri said the restrictions will be in place till April 14.
"Public movement has been banned in Puri's containment zones and entry and exit points have been sealed, after a person tested postitive for the disease in Pipili block. Local residents were being supplied essentials by the administration at their door steps," Sub-Collector B T Sahu said.
In Jajpur, officials are trying to trace those that came in contact with the religious leader, who had attended the Delhi congregation, Collector Ranjan Kumar Das said. Odisha
has reported 23 Covid-19 cases so far.