BHUBANESWAR: Partial lockdown restrictions are likely to continue for at least a fortnight more in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri as Odisha government plans for a complete unlock in rest of the districts with certain conditions from August 1.
The government is also considering to lift weekend shutdown and night curfew from other urban areas barring the three places, which have been constantly reporting maximum Covid cases, sources said. However, the timing for opening of shops and business establishments in the three cities may get an extension up to 8 pm and the government may also go for reopening of malls and cinema halls with 50 per cent (pc) capacity.
“The recommendations of the expert committee including aggressive testing, contact tracing and strict enforcement of Covid norms despite unlock are under active consideration of the Chief Minister. The government will announce the new unlock guideline on Saturday,” the sources said.
The State has reported 1,558 new cases with Khurda remaining on top with 479 followed by Cuttack (241), Balasore (97) and Puri (82). The test positivity rate (TPR) has come down to 2.05 pc. Barring Khurda, the TPR in all other districts was below five pc from July 23 to 29. It was 7.61 pc in Khurda, 4.87 pc in Cuttack, 4.77 pc in Bhadrak and 4.24 pc in Puri.
There was no let up in fatalities as the State announced 66 more deaths due to Covid taking the toll to 5,834. The active cases have come down below 15,000 and only Khurda remains in red zone with 4,185 cases.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to continue the testing target of 75,000 per day for August and the districts with less number of cases will also have to meet their testing target. “The unvaccinated people are spreading the infection in areas that are showing no sign of abatement. There will be aggressive testing in Khurda, Cuttack and Puri,” said a health official.