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Odisha government announced a weekend shutdown beginning on April 24 at all the urban areas

Bhubaneswar:19/4/21: In view of the unprecedented spike in Covid-19 cases in Odisha, the State government on Monday announced a weekend shutdown at all the urban areas across the State, beginning on April 24.

However, all the essential services including hospitals, nursing homes, medicine stores will continue functioning as usual during the shutdown. The health workers will also be allowed to travel to hospitals and health care centers without any hindrance, Special relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said.

“Emergency services like district offices, Municipality office, police stations, fire services center, Special Relief Commission office, all other offices of the State and Centre providing emergency services will remain open during the shutdown. Petrol pumps, telecom, water supply, electric supply, grocery shops, Milk booths and newspaper stalls will also remain open during the shutdown,” stated Jena.

“All dhabas, hotels on national and state highways will remain open but partaking of food will not be allowed during the weekend shutdown,” said Jena.

According to the new Covid-19 guidelines issued by the State government, marriage and funeral organisers will have to mandatorily submit the list of participants in the functions to local authorities for necessary permission 24 hours before the events. The present cap of 50 attendees at weddings will continue.

During the weekend shutdown all activities shall be closed except the following:

  • All medical establishments including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, including medicine stores, movement of ambulance and all medical personnel
  • District and Municipal administration/ Police/ Fire services
  • Central and State government officials on emergency duty
  • Telecom services
  • Petrol pumps
  • LPG distribution, home delivery of cooking gas and associated facilities, associated personnel and vehicular movement
  • Print and electronic media identified by Commissionerate/ District Police
  • Water supply, sanitation and sewerage workers
  • Electricity supply and distribution
  • Movement of goods and goods carriers, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Industrial establishments, factories and construction activities
  • Agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, veterinary services and allied activities, including procurement at mandis
  • Service sector industries, including IT/ ITeS, hotel and hospitality units. Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel
  • Movement of rail and air transport
  • Road transport on highways, road movement of transiting vehicles
  • Movement of public transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stands/ stops, for facilitating the movement of passengers by air, rail and road
  • Marriages and funerals, with permission of the local authority
  • ATMs and critical financial institutions like RBI, clearing houses
  • Operations of Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Terminals and their associated offices, movement of associated personnel and activities
  • Home delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and essential items by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, etc.
  • Dhabas along with National and State Highways/ major roads for takeaway only
  • Milk booths and related activities
  • Food and grocery stores such as Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Chilika Fresh and others for home delivery only
  • Newspaper hawkers between 5.00 am to 8.00 am only.

General guidance during night curfew and weekend shutdowns:

No pass would be required for the movement of the above category of persons. Valid travel documents/ authorisations such as airline/ railway/ bus tickets/ boarding passes, with any identity proof shall be adequate for the purpose. Identity cards issued by appropriate authorities of the establishments shall serve as a pass for effecting the movement of employees of establishments under permitted activities. Patients and their attendants/ persons requiring the emergency need for movement shall be allowed to move with minimal proof of their emergencies. Officers/ staff on duty shall be sensitised to appreciate the situation of persons on the road and take suitable action to facilitate movement on emergency needs.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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