Bhubaneswar: Fearing community transmission, Odisha government has decided to completely ‘shutdown’ Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak cities for 48 hours.

No groceries, no vegetable or dairy shops, no deliveries, no passes will be allowed, even pharmacies will be limited. This is essentially a curfew of 48 hours, explained Odisha DGP, Abhay.

“Because we fear community transmission, we have to take our surveillance to the next step. Taking advantage of this 48 hours shut down – from Friday 8 pm to Sunday 8 pm — tracing as per WHO protocols will be carried out by administrative agencies. We need your continuing cooperation to fight this COVID19 pandemic this is being done for the public’s health and needs a little more sacrifice from all of you,” said state chief secretary, Asit Kumar Tripathy.

The move comes after a sixty year old with no travel history whatsoever, neither in the state nor outside of the state had tested positive for COVID19 in Bhubaneswar. He is the fifth patient to do so.

During the next two days new orders will be issued and violators will be picked up and placed in government quarantine facilities for 14 days and penal provisions under Disaster Management Act will also be invoked, added Tripathy.

Essential services, and ‘lockdown’ passes grated to those tending to these, would stand suspended. Special “shutdown” passes will be granted to a more select set of essential service providers, such as doctors for the next two days. Addressing the press briefing, DGP Abhay asked people to manage less serious complaints through tele-medicine but also added that a greater number of ambulances were on a standby for serious health emergencies. “It’s a mere 48 hours, so do not panic. I do not want to see thousands of people trying to buy groceries,” he added.

Goods vehicles plying through national highways, from Khurda to Cuttack or the one passing through Bhadrak will be allowed unhindered passage.

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