Bhubaneswar (Odisha), April 9 (ANI): Odisha Government on Thursday extended the COVID-19 lockdown till April 30, becoming the first state to do so. The closure of educational institutions was extended until June 17.
The decision was taken during the state’s cabinet meeting held via video conference earlier today. A nationwide 21-day lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi till April 14 in the wake of COVID-19 spread. Odisha Cabinet also recommended the Union Government to extend the lockdown.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also requested Centre not to start train and air services till April 30. A record of one lakh rapid testing is being planned as a preventive measure in potential hotspots, an official release said.
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, MGNREGS related activities will be facilitated following social distancing norms and as earlier, free movement of goods transport will be allowed in Odisha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the situation due to coronavirus in the country is similar to that of a “social emergency” and added that everyone should continue to stay vigilant, at a meeting with floor leaders of political parties in Parliament, held through video conferencing.
“The situation in the country is akin to a social emergency. The country has been forced to take tough decisions and must continue to remain vigilant. Several state governments, district administrations and experts have asked for extension of the phase of lockdown,” Modi said during the course of the meeting.
So far, Odisha has reported 42 positive COVID-19 cases. Two people have been cured/discharged or migrated while one death has been reported. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases rose to 5,734 on Thursday, including 5,095 active cases, while 472 people have either been cured or discharged. So far, 166 deaths have taken place, as per the Health Ministry.