A medic conducts thermal screening of a passenger waiting to board a train to Delhi at Howrah station, during the ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, in Kolkata. Photo: PTI
Even as the rest of the nation began unlocking the curbs imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 on Monday, Odisha
decided to shutter 11 of its 30 districts, dreading a spike in cases.
Odisha’s Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has announced a complete shutdown on weekends till June 30 for 11 districts as they will be witnessing a significant influx of migrant workers in the days ahead. Only essential services would be made available in these 11 districts- Ganjam, Puri, Nayagarh, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Bolangir.
The count of Covid positive cases in the state is going to escalate with the homecoming of the workers. Odisha
has hitherto seen the return of 426,504 migrant workers. One of the early movers in thwarting Covid-19 pandemic, Odisha
has seen its graph rising unusually since the return of migrant workers. The state recorded the biggest ever spike of 156 cases Monday, taking the tally of Covid infected to 2104.
The state government has imposed curbs on any kind of meeting or social gathering till June 30. Cinema halls, shopping complexes gyms and swimming pools would also be shuttered till June 30. All educational institutions will remain closed till July 31. Meanwhile, hotels can remain open with 30 per cent working staff. The restaurants will be functional only by those staying at the hotel, not for outsiders.
On the other hand, to maintain social distancing, a gathering of not more than 50 people are allowed at wedding functions and not more than 20 people in the last rites of deceased persons.
The Odisha government
would broadly comply with the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs post lifting of lockdown
For industries, the state government plans to ensure the operation of all industrial units at full capacity, keeping to the norms of social distancing.
Dibya Shankar Mishra, minister for industries & energy said, “Even during Covid, the industries were operating at 50 per cent capacity. We will ensure the industries scale up taking all precautions like availability of masks and sanitisers and temporary accommodation within their premises. We won’t be having labour shortage in Odisha as a bulk of workers have returned to the state”.
The state industries department is unveiling its latest version of Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) 2020 in December this year. The futuristic policy statement is aimed to boost investments in industries especially in focus sectors like electronics & information technology, downstream industries, textiles and food processing.