COVID-19: Odisha under lockdown from March 24 midnight

Odisha extends lockdown to entire state from March 24 midnight

Passengers wear masks as a preventive measure against coronavirus, at Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Monday, March 16, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The whole of Odisha will be under lockdown from Tuesday midnight as a precautionary measure to contain the coronavirus outbreak, a top state government official said.

Fourteen of the state's 30 districts are already under a lockdown.

The government's chief spokesperson on COVID-19, Subroto Bagchi, said the shutdown will be in force till March 29.

He said the decision was taken after the state's chief secretary chaired a meeting with all district collectors.

The lockdown, which initially started with five districts on March 22, and was then extended to nine others, will now cover the entire state, Bagchi added.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

The Odisha government had already announced suspension of all public transport services including intra-state buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws across the state from Tuesday to restrict movement of people.

Bagchi said essential services like hospitals, pathology labs, medicine shops, fire brigade, water and electric supply will be kept out of the purview of the lockdown.

Private agencies engaged in COVID-19 management will also be categorised as emergency service providers, he said.

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Meanwhile, police booked 42 persons in Berhampur city in Ganjam district for defying the lockdown, officials said.

At least four cases have been registered in this connection in three police stations, said sub-divisional police officer BP Pati.

Earlier in the day, police personnel were seen asking people through public address system to stay indoors in places like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur and Berhampur.

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