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Odisha first to extend lockdown


A mid unconfirmed speculation about the nationwide lockdown due to end on April 14, Odisha has become the first Indian state to extend the ongoing lockdown. In a video statement on Thursday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that his government has decided to extend the lockdown period in Odisha till April 30.

“During ongoing lockdown period amid Covid-19 crisis, your discipline and sacrifice has provided us the strength to fight Covid-19,” said chief minister Patnaik.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s official figures on April 9, Odisha has 42 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. This number includes one patient who succumbed to the infection and two individuals who recovered.

The decision was announced after a cabinet meeting where the importance and need of the extension were discussed at length. Naveen Patnaik announced, “At this crucial juncture, one has to decide between protecting the lives of people and economic activity. We will recommend to Government of India to extend the national lockdown up to April 30. In addition to this, we will also request the Union Government not to start airline and railway services till April 30,” said a statement from the Odisha government.

For Odisha’s natives stranded in other states owing to the nationwide lockdown, CM Naveen Patnaik said, “As regards people from Orissa who are stranded in various parts of the country, our intervention for their well-being will be through the concerned state governments. Odisha will take care of all the people who are stranded in Odisha.”

The Odisha government will also take special measures for various sectors. Activities related to agriculture, animal husbandry and MGNREGS will be facilitated during the lockdown period following social distancing norms.

CM Patnaik also said, “As has been stated earlier, there will not be any problem in the transport of goods. We are leaving no stone unturned in scaling up Covid-19 testing and treatment facilities. We propose to conduct one lakh rapid tests in the state at the earliest possible time.”

Meanwhile, educational institutions in the state will remain closed till June 17.

“Coronavirus is the biggest threat that the human race has faced in more than a century. Life will not be the same ever. All of us must understand this and face it boldly together. With our sacrifice and with the blessings of the Lord Jagannath this too shall pass,” said Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik while concluding his video message to the people of the state on Thursday.

Courtesy – IndiaToday

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