Odisha extends lockdown till April 30

The Odisha government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till April 30 to effectively contain the spread of coronavirus.

Schools and other educational institutions 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.

Patnaik said the state has also urged the Centre to stop train and flight services to Odisha till April 30.

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.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has promulgated an ordinance with provision of imprisonment up to two years for those who violate the epidemic regulations, official sources said on Thursday.

The ordinance amends a section of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

As per the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, anybody who disobeys any regulation or order made under the principal Act is liable for imprisonment up to two years or with fine up to Rs 10,000 or with both.

“Every offence under this Act shall be cognisable and bailable,” it said.

The ordinance was brought as the state assembly is not in session at present, sources said.

It replaces the section 3 of the main Act, which stated violating the law invites imprisonment for maximum six months and Rs 1,000 fine, an official said, adding that a clause has been inserted in another section of the principal Act. Procurement of goods, services, and equipment for prevention and control of the epidemic disease have been brought under the purview of the amended provision which was not included in the 1897 Act.

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