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Bhubaneswar: In a major move, the Odisha government on Sunday extended the State-wide lockdown till June 17 in view of the prevailing pandemic situation. The 16-day extension of the curbs will come into effect immediately

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Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra made the announcement saying that the lockdown 2.0 in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic which was scheduled to end on June 1 has been further extended.

During the lockdown period, all the usual restrictions will continue to be strictly imposed. There will be complete restrictions on any kind of gatherings. Weddings and funeral functions will be allowed with the permitted cap as specified earlier in the second phase of the lockdown. Weekend shutdown will also be enforced.

In three districts namely Nuapada, Gajapati and Sundargarh where the Covid cases have drastically reduced in past several days, the State government has allowed some relaxations. As per the decision, all businesses except barber shops, parlours and malls are allowed to operate with strict Covid guidelines from 6 am to 1 pm. Earlier, people were allowed to avail only essentials during 7 am and 11 am.

The State government has however cautioned that if Covid cases resurge in the aforementioned districts, the curbs will be reinforced once again.

Mohapatra informed that due to Covid lockdown restriction in the last one month, the positivity rate of the virus infection has come down to 26% to 14%.

Towards the end of the 16-day lockdown, the situation will be reviewed once again and if more districts exhibit a decline in the trend of Covid cases, phase-wise relaxations will be allowed accordingly in such districts.

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