Odisha Balances between Life and Livelihood in Covid Fight

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Bhubaneswar: Balancing between the life and livelihood, Government of Odisha has brought out new strategies for fighting Covid-19 in the State.

Speaking about the new guideline Chief Secretary Sri Asit Tripathy said, “Odisha’s model of fighting through community empowerment and participation has proved successful till today. In the current phase of the fight, the community and the people will be frontline warriors”.

Sri Tripathy added, in pursuance of the directions of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, the State Government have promulgated the new guidelines in the State of Odisha until midnight of 31.07.2020. This order will come into force with effect from 01.07.2020.

The new strategy includes the following.

The State COVID Management Guideline is based on:

  1. De-centralised management: empowering the COVID Management Committee in urban and rural areas, headed by the Ward Members for surveillance, monitoring and containing the spread of the infection
  2. establishment and management of COVID Care Homes at Gram Panchayat (GP) level by Sarpanches for isolation and treatment of symptomatic cases
  3. continuance of Temporary Medical Camps (TMCs) for a cluster of GPs for quarantining of returnees
  4. COVID Audit of Government and Private offices and obligation of the head of the office under Disaster Management Act, 2005 for enforcing physical distancing and mask wearing
  5. strict enforcement of social distancing, mask wearing and spitting regulations in all public places
  6. strict adherence of COVID SOP by all Private Hospitals
  7. monitoring of travelers from hotspots outside the State

The Lockdown will be limited to Containment Zones. Local Authorities i.e. District Collector/ Municipal Commissioner shall demarcate containment zones in accordance with the guidelines of MoHFW, Government of India/ H&FW Department of Government of Odisha. In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Local Authorities may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions as considered necessary may be put in place by the Local authorities.

For regulation of activities in areas outside the Containment Zones, the following establishments/ activities will continue to remain closed till 31st July, 2020, throughout the State:

  • Religious places/ places of worship for public.
  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
  • Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
  • Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.
  • Schools, colleges, other educational/ training/ coaching institutions, etc. will remain closed for the purpose of teaching till 31st August, 2020. However, conduct of examinations and evaluation etc. shall be permitted.

Activities that are not specifically prohibited/ regulated/ restricted above are allowed.

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the establishments/ activities mentioned above issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and other Ministries of Government of India/ Department of H&FW, Government of Odisha, for the above activities will be strictly followed for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • Hotels and Restaurants are allowed to operate as per SOPs issued by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Restaurant service in Hotels will be open for in-house guests.
  • Restaurants and Hotels are permitted for home delivery/ takeaways of food. Dhabas along National and State Highways/ Major roads for takeaway only.
  • Local Authorities may decide about opening of Shopping Malls with appropriate restrictions.

Night Curfew

All shops, commercial establishments, offices, institutions and movement of individuals shall remain closed/ prohibited between 9.00 pm to 5.00 am throughout the State, except for essential activities. The District Collectors/ Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall issue orders, in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law, such as under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance. This restriction shall not apply to:

  • District and Municipal Administration/ Police/ Government Officials on duty
  • Doctors, Medical/ Paramedical Staff (Govt. & Private)
  • Staff of IT & ITeS Companies on production their ID cards
  • Any person, in case of medical or other emergency
  • Owner/ staff of Chemist shops
  • All industrial units
  • All construction activities
  • Movement of Public Transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stands/ stops, for facilitating movement of passengers by air, rail and road.
  • Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel
  • Dhabas along National and State Highways/ Major roads for takeaway only
  • Petrol pumps and CNG Stations

The State Government will adopt a graded approach for districts depending on the status of the spread of the disease and vulnerability. Additional restrictions are required to be imposed on mobility and congregations in the interest of the containment of the spread of the disease.

Zone 1:  10 districts – Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jharsuguda

  1. Local authorities in these districts may impose restrictions on intra-district public and private transport and closure of shops & establishments, government and private institutions and movement/ assembly of people, as deemed appropriate.
  2. The Weekend Shutdown on Saturdays and Sundays will continue for the above districts in the month of July. During this shutdown, only the following activities shall be allowed:
  • All medical establishments including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, including medicine stores. Movement of Ambulance and all medical personnel.
  • District and Municipal Administration/ Police/ Fire Services
  • Central & State Government officials on emergency duty
  • Telecom services
  • Petrol pumps
  • Print and Electronic Media identified by Commissionerate/ District Police
  • Water Supply, sanitation and sewerage workers
  • Electricity supply and distribution
  • Movement of goods and good carriers, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Industrial establishments, factories and construction activities
  • Service sector industries, including IT/ ITeS, Hotel & Hospitality units
  • Movement of rail and air transport
  • Road transport on highways, road movement of transiting vehicles
  • Movement of Public Transport, private vehicles and taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.) to and from airports, railway station and bus terminals/ stands/ stops, for facilitating movement of passengers by air, rail and road.
  • Marriages and Funerals, with permission of local authority
  • ATMs and critical financial institutions like RBI, Clearing Houses
  • Operations of Airports, Railway Stations, Bus Terminals and their associated offices, movement of associated personnel and activities
  • Operation of hotels and hospitality units, including their associated offices, movement of staff and associated personnel
  • Home Delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and essential items by restaurants and aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy etc.
  • Newspaper hawkers between 5 am and 8 am only
  • Dhabas along National and State Highways/ Major roads for takeaway only
  • Milk booths
  • Food & Grocery stores such as Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Falcon Chilika Fresh and others for home delivery only

Zone 2: Remaining 20 districts – Puri, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Sundargarh, Balangir, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Bargarh, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Dhenkanal, Kalahandi, Angul, Deogarh, Sambalpur, Koraput, Boudh, Nabarangapur, Rayagada, Subarnapur

All permissible activities are allowed, except during Night Curfew (as outlined in Clause 4 (b)).

Quarantine Policy

  • The quarantine period for returnee(s) to the State will be limited to 14 days. This shall be implemented by local authorities i.e., District Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners.
  • Returnee(s) in rural areas will undergo 14 days of mandatory institutional quarantine. In case the quarantinee develops symptoms requiring medical attention, he/ she may be shifted to COVID Care Centre/ COVID Hospital.
  • Returnees(s) in urban areas shall have to compulsorily stay in home quarantine for a period of 14 days, observing guidelines issued by H&FW Dept., Govt. of Odisha. If the returnee does not have proper quarantine facility at home, he/ she shall undergo institutional/ paid quarantine for a duration as directed by the local authorities.
  • Individuals travelling to the State by regular train and air services will have to undergo mandatory quarantine, as prescribed above.
  • The following categories of travelers shall be exempt from mandatory quarantine in the State, upon arrival in Odisha:
    • Govt. officials, Professionals, businessmen or any other person travelling to Odisha on work and intending to exit the State by rail, road or air within 72 hrs
    • Govt. officials, Professionals, businessmen or any other person who have travelled from Odisha on work and are returning to the State within 72 hrs of departure from Odisha

Local Authorities may extend the duration of quarantine of the quarantinees at home/ institution, within their jurisdiction, in the interest of containment of COVID-19.

General Directives for COVID-19 Management

The following General Directives for COVID-19 Management shall be strictly followed throughout the State:

  • Face coverings: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and during transport.
  • Social distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places.
  • Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers. The owner of the shop shall be liable for any violation.
  • Salons, Spas, Beauty Parlours and Barber shops shall ensure all safety precautions, disinfection and sanitization before and after service of each customer. The owner/ manager shall be liable for any violation.
  • Gatherings: Public gatherings/ congregations of more than 7 persons are prohibited.
  • Marriage related gatherings: Number of guests not to exceed 50.
  • Funeral/ last rites related gatherings: Number of persons not to exceed 20.
  • Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as prescribed in accordance with laws, rules or regulations.
  • Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc. in public places is prohibited.

Additional directives for Work Places

  • Obligation of Heads of Offices: All offices, Government and Private, must ensure adherence to the SOP on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices issued by Department of H&FW, Government of Odisha dated 30th June 2020. Non-adherence to these guidelines will invite action under appropriate provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • Work from home (WfH): As far as possible the practice of WfH should be followed.
  • Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial & commercial establishments.
  • Screening & hygiene: Provision for thermal screening, hand wash and sanitizer will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas.
  • Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles, etc., will be ensured, including between shifts.
  • Social distancing: All persons in charge of workplaces will ensure adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.

Unrestricted movement of persons and goods

  • There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No permission/ approval/ e-permit/ passes will be required for such movements.
  • Intra-State Buses, City Buses, Taxis (including cabs by aggregators like Ola, Uber, etc.), Auto Rickshaws and other Passenger Vehicles, are allowed to operate with up to sitting capacity of the vehicle, as mentioned in the Registration Certificate.
  • Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued by Govt. of India.
  • Movement of any type of goods/ cargo for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries shall not be stopped.

Based on their assessment of the situation, District Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners may impose area specific additional restrictions on activities outside the Containment zones or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary for containing the spread of COVID-19.

Safety and Protection of vulnerable persons

The following category of people are advised against outdoor movement, except for essential and health purposes till 31st August, 2020.

  1. Persons above 65 years of age
  2. persons with co-morbidities
  3. pregnant women
  4. children below the age of 10 years
  5. Use of Aarogya Setu
  • Aarogya Setu enables early identification of potential risk of infection, and thus acts as a shield for individuals and the community.
  • With a view to ensuring safety in offices and workplaces, employers on best effort basis should ensure that Aarogya Setu is installed by all employees having compatible mobile phones.
  • District authorities may advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health status on the app. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.
  1. Strict enforcement of the guidelines
  • These guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, shall not be diluted in any manner.
  • All the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall strictly enforce the above measures.

Penal provisions

Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable.

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