Odisha govt withdraws Covid regulations

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Saturday repealed the Covid regulations that made wearing face masks and practising Covid appropriate behaviour mandatory and imposed restrictions and penalties on gatherings.The government’s decision to repeal ‘The Odisha Covid-19 Regulations, 2020’ came following substantial decline in Covid cases in the state over the last several months. There has been a drastic decline in cases and hospitalisations after the fourth wave in July.

The Health and Family Welfare department has, however, advised people to practice Covid appropriate behaviour voluntarily as and when necessary.Health secretary Shalini Pandit said several states have already repealed the regulations after the Covid cases declined significantly. “The detection of new cases in Odisha has gone down and so also hospitalisations. But people with symptoms should practice Covid appropriate behaviour for themselves and others around them,” she advised. 

The state government had issued ‘The Odisha Covid-19 Regulations, 2020’ on March 18, the same year. These regulations were amended time to time during the pandemic.With only two cases, the state government had enforced state-wide lockdown on March 24, 2020. Before enforcing it, the government had taken several measures for preventing the spread of Covid-19 besides declaring it as a state disaster on March 13.  

The statewide lockdown was followed by a nationwide lockdown between March 25 and April 14. Before the extension announced by the Centre, Odisha had extended the lockdown in the state till April 30 that year.

On April 3, 2020, the government amended the Covid regulations by adding additional duties and responsibilities of hospitals and local bodies such as infection control measures in hospitals and empowering officers to declare any government or private hospital as Covid hospitals. The state recorded four new Covid cases in last 24 hours taking the tally to 13.36 lakh. While 13.27 lakh people have recovered so far, 9,204 people have succumbed to the disease. The active cases now stands at 86.

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