Odisha Government on Thursday has announced the extention of the coronavirus lockdown till April 30, which was supposed to end on April 14. Odisha is first state to extend lockdown in a move to stop the spread of coronavirus. Schools and other educainstitutions will remain closed till June 17, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced after a video conference with his ministers.
"We have decided to extend the lockdown period till April 30 and a recommendation in this regard will be sent to the Centre," he said in a video message.
Extending the lockdown across state, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in a special public address stated that human lives take priority over economic stability.
"The State Cabinet which met today decided that saving the lives of our people is the top most priority at this juncture. Accordingly we have decided to extend the lock down till April 30th, We will recommend to Government of India to extend the national lockdown up to 30th April," Odisha CM said.
"As has been stated earlier , there will not be any problem in transport of goods .We are leaving no stone unturned in scaling up COVID testing and treatment Facilities," it added.
Patnaik added that he has requested the Central government to extend the national lockdown till April 30 and accordingly suspend rail and air services till the lockdown is lifted. However, he clarified that irrigation related work will continue as per schedule in the state.
"Activities related to agriculture , animal husbandry and MGNREGS will be facilitated during the lockdown period following social distancing norms .
In a larger context food security of the people is a major priority of the state," he added.
CM Naveen heartily thanked all Odias for their cooperation and support in the State's fight against COVID-19.
Odisha has recorded 44 positive cases of coronavirus so far.
The nationwide lockdown was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to break the chain of coronavirus transmission and it was scheduled to be lifted on April 15.