Bhubaneswar, June 16: The Odisha government on Wednesday extended the partial lockdown for two more weeks till July 1 and divided the state into two categories on the basis of COVID-19 positivity rate, a senior official said. The restrictions will be in force till 5 am of July 1, Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said. The weekend shutdowns on Saturdays and Sundays will also continue across Odisha till the end of the month.

He said that under Category A, there are 17 districts located in the southern and western parts of the state where the positivity rate is 5 per cent or less, while 13 districts in coastal regions feature in Category B.

In the Category-A districts that include Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Balangir, Ganjam, Kandhamal and Koraput, shops for essential goods will remain open from 6 am to 5 pm. The timing for such shops in districts listed in Category B will be 6 am to 1 pm, he said. Tamil Nadu Govt to Continue With Rs 4000 Dole Along With 15 kg of Rice to All Ration Cardholders, Says CM MK Stalin.

Some of the Category-B districts are Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Kedrapada, Dhenkanal, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Mohapatra said the state government has also allowed sweet shops to open on the condition that these will only provide parcels. Street vendors selling food items in Category A districts can resume business, too, but on take-away basis.

The chief secretary said morning walks will be permitted from 6 am to 9 am, though parks will remain closed till July 1. All essential services, industrial and construction activities, and transport of goods will be allowed, he said, adding, public bus services would not be available.

The senior official said district authorities are empowered to impose further restrictions if there is a rise in COVID-19 cases. Mohapatra also said the borders with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand will now be opened keeping in view the decline in the number of infections in these states, but restrictions will continue along the borders with West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

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