Odisha Considering Week-long Lockdown in Select Districts

After a severe surge in Covid-19 cases, the Odisha government is considering imposing a week-long lockdown in select regions including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and several western districts.

Bijay Mohapatra, director of health services, has notified that the surge in cases is due to community transmission. “The number of cases in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack is increasing as many people are coming to the city from different places. One person can infect many others. As there are many returnees in the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack from outside the state, the number of cases is increasing in the two places. One positive person is infecting multiple persons. Hence the cases are increasing”.

The state government officials are considering implementing a lockdown at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and western districts like Kalahandi, Nuapara, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Nabarangpur, as this could be the only way to stop the spread. Further, the BMC has sealed Bhubaneswar’s market building for 48 hours as people were not obeying Covid-19 protocols.

“Social distancing is being blatantly violated here. Many people are roaming freely without masks and there are no systematic arrangements at shops here to avoid crowding. We are amid a pandemic and we can never beat the virus if the safety protocols are flouted in such a manner. Therefore, we were forced to seal the market area for 48 hours,” stated BMC Additional Commissioner, Laxmikant Sethi.

In Bhubaneswar, the supply of oxygen facilities is available in 17495 beds of the 31,471 beds in Covid-19 care centres. Covid-19 hospitals run by SUM, AMRI, Apollo, CARE as well as other hospitals reported full occupancy.

Prem Chandra Chaudhary, the BMC Commissioner, announced that steps are being taken to increase the volume of beds at Covid-19 hospitals by 3,000 units in the next ten days. “Of the present capacity of around 3,000 beds at the COVID-19 hospitals, 50% beds are occupied. However, given the constant surge, the city’s bed capacity will be increased to 6,000 in the next ten days to meet the demand,” said Chaudhary.

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