BHUBANESWAR: Night curfew returned to Malkangiri district while the state government decided to reactivate village-level covid management committees and re-involve panchayat representatives in pandemic management in view of rising cases.
The Malkangiri district administration notified curfew from 9pm to 6am from March 23 to March 31 to avoid gatherings for Dola, Holi and Bada yatra festival.
The Badayatra, a festival scheduled from March 27 to 31 in the district, witnesses huge crowd from Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
“The movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited, except for essential activities during the curfew,” the order issued by Yeddula Vijay, the district collector, read.
After a review of the situation by chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra with the district collectors, special relief commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said the government has decided to once again involve ward members, sarpanches, ASHAs and anganwadi workers in manging covid at the grassroots level.
“Their involvement helped Odisha check infections in villages last year. They will once again monitor people coming from outside to the villages and report any suspected cases so that such people are tested and possible spread of infection is checked,” Jena said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to review the situation with senior government officers and district administrations on Tuesday evening.
The government is likely to come out with fresh set of guidelines on Covid-19.
Jena said the government doesn’t want to put avoidable restrictions to strike a balance between life, livelihood and economy.
“However, an appropriate decision will be taken keeping in mind the dynamic situation,” he said.
The SRC said the government will further increase daily tests from around 25,000 to 26,000 samples per day.
The DGP has asked the SPs to intensify enforcement of social distancing and wearing of masks, he said.
The government’s slew of measures came on a day Odisha reported 146 new infections, the highest in the past 50 days.
The state had last reported more than 146 infections was on January 24 when 150 new cases were reported.
The daily count of infection has gone up to around 100 or more in past four days compared to around 60-70 per day in the fortnight before that.