Bhubaneswar, April 23 (IANS) The Odisha government announced a 60-hour complete shutdown in Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore districts from 10 p.m. on Thursday following a spike in Covid-19 positive cases in these districts.
“In the past 5 days, 29 Covid-19 positive cases have been reported and 28 are from Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur. We have to move to a higher level of preparedness in these districts,” Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said as he announced imposition of a complete shutdown in these three districts till 10 a.m. on Monday.
He said it will be a curfew-like situation as no person will be allowed to come out of house during the period.
However, emergency services like selected medicine shops will be allowed. Also, goods transport passing on national highways through these districts for other districts will be allowed free movement.
While testing will be increased three times in these districts, the government will take possible measures, including contact tracing, to detect other positive cases.
Tripathy said the rising number of positive cases among returnees from West Bengal has become a concern.
Police personnel have been deployed in the border areas with West Bengal. Besides, sarpanches have been asked to identify those with recent travel history to the neighbouring state.
People with recent travel history should voluntarily come up failing which action will be taken against them as per the law, said Tripathy.
“We appeal to residents of Jajpur ,Bhadrak and Balasore dists to observe Shutdown for 60 hours announced by Chief Secy. Police will be constrained to prosecute and take other legal action against those violating the shutdown,” tweeted DGP Abhay.
The government has appointed three Secretaries to oversee and monitor the Covid-19 situation in the three districts.
Covid-19 positive cases in Odisha have increased to 89 after six more people – four from Jajpur and two from Balasore – tested positive for the virus on Thursday, said the Information and Public Relations Department.