Coronavirus: Odisha extends lockdown, urges Centre to stop train, air services till April 30
The Odisha government on Thursday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till April 30 to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus.
Schools and other educational institutions will remain closed till June 17, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced after a video conference with his ministers.
"We have decided to extend the lockdown period till April 30 and a recommendation in this regard will be sent to the Centre," he said in a video message.
Patnaik said the state has also urged the Centre to stop train and flight services to Odisha till April 30.
Odisha has recorded 44 positive cases of coronavirus so far.
The nationwide lockdown was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to break the chain of coronavirus transmission, and it was scheduled to be lifted on April 15.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to completely seal off coronavirus hotspots in 15 districts to stop to the spread of the infection, and announced curfew-like restrictions.
The orders came as the state's coronavirus count reached 343 with 11 fresh cases being reported. The news triggered panic-buying with earlier reports wrongly saying that entire districts will be sealed off.
Unlike in the lockdown so far, people will not be allowed to go out to buy groceries. Officials said the administration will ensure doorstep delivery of items like vegetables and milk in these clusters.
Passes issued to allow essential movement are cancelled in these hotspots which will remain sealed up to April 15 morning, when the current three-week nationwide lockdown is scheduled to end.
While on the other side, the Karnataka government is in favour of lifting the coronavirus lockdown in districts which remained free of the virus infection, subject to approval from the Centre.
In an interview to PTI, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also said the state intended to relax liquor sales, stopped since the 21-day lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, after April 14 in a bid to increase state revenues.
According to officials, there were no COVID-19 cases in 12 districts of the total 30 districts in the state.
As on Wednesday, there were 181 COVID-19 cases in the state, including five deaths and 28 discharges.
"If the Prime Minister suggests to states to take decision (on lock-down) based on the situation in their respective states, my position is to take a call (on roll-back) in districts free from COVID-19," Yediyurappa said.
According to Union Health Ministry with 540 new cases reported in past 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has jumped to 5,734 with 166 fatality while 472 patients have been cured of the virus. Maharashtra remains the worst affected state with 1,135 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu at 738 and Delhi at 669, Telangana at 427, and Rajasthan at 381.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)