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09 Apr 2020 | 05:13 AM UTC

India: Lockdown extended in Odisha state April 9 /update 19

Authorities extend lockdown in the state of Odisha on April 9, and mandate face masks in public spaces in multiple areas April 8; follow government directives

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Event

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on Thursday, April 9, that the ongoing lockdown in the Odisha state, initially scheduled to last until Tuesday, April 14, will be extended until Thursday, April 30, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region. The measure comes while the country awaits extension of the nationwide lockdown and of the rail and air services suspension by the central government. The 21-day nationwide lockdown came into effect on Tuesday, March 24. Only essential services remain operational. All shops, offices, markets, and places of worship are closed and interstate bus and train services are suspended. A ban on international commercial passenger flights is also ongoing until at least Tuesday, April 14. Cargo operations and flights with prior approval will be exempt from the restrictions.

Separately, on Wednesday, April 8, New Delhi, Mumbai, and the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha made the use of face masks mandatory in public spaces.

Authorities announced on Wednesday, April 8, that 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh state, which are believed to be hotspots of COVID-19 cases, will remain under a lockdown until at least Wednesday, April 15. During this period, food and medicine supplies will be delivered, as shops and markets have been ordered to close. All residents of the districts under lockdown will be asked to remain at home at all times, except for health department officials and those involved in the making or delivery of essential supplies. The following districts will be under lockdown: Sitapur, Maharajganj, Basti, Bareilly, Bulandhshahr, Firozabad, Saharanpur, Shamli, Varanasi, Kanpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Ghaziabad, and Gautambuddh Nagar (Noida).

As of April 9, 5916 cases of COVID-19 and 178 associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus. Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.