Odisha govt directs home-quarantine to over 3,000 people, lockdown in various districts from tomorrow

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Mar 21 (ANI): In the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic, Odisha government has directed over 3,000 people, who have returned from foreign countries, for home quarantine and announced a near complete lockdown in various districts.The districts and town where lockdown has been declared from tomorrow 7 am till 9 pm on March 29 include districts of Khurdha, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapada, Angul, the towns of Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur road and Jajpur town and Bhadrak. "Time has come for us to take the extraordinary step and sacrifice, to protect our State and our people. We have more than 3000 people who have returned from foreign countries. They are advised for home quarantine. A majority of them belong to the following Districts of Khurdha, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapada, Angul, the towns of Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur,Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur road and Jajpur town and Bhadrak," said Patnaik in a statement."Hence in the first phase, we are going for a near complete lockdown in all these areas from 7 am tomorrow till 9 pm of March 29," he added.The Chief Minister has urged people to stay at home and come out only for basic services. Hospitals, clinics, medical shops, grocery shops, restaurants (only takeaways and home deliveries) vegetables, meat and milk shops and bakery, Railways, bus stands, airports will remain open. However, selling of tea and other beverages in the same premises will be closed.Administration, police, health, fire, ODRAF, electricity, water, municipal services, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps will remain open along with private establishments that support the above services or are linked to the fight against coronavirus.The government has postponed all distribution of benefits such as pension and PDS in the five districts and the eight towns.Patnaik has asked the private companies to encourage work from home. "In case they cannot do so and need to continue they need to get a certificate from the concerned Collector to continue," he said.In Odisha, all service providers, including private sector engaged in COVID-19 will be declared as 'emergency workers'. Sttaing that the police cannot enforce everything everwhere, he said, "We have to see it as our Responsibility to protect our lives. It is the duty of the community, specifically Sarpanches and elected representatives and other community leaders to keep a close watch and monitor this lockdown 4.5 crore people of Odisha are my family and I am concerned about the well being of each one of you."He appealed people to stay at home and said: "If you go out - you risk bringing the virus to your family. The administration will take tough action on anyone violating this and risking their life, their family members and people of Odisha."(ANI)