Newspaper distribution in list of essential services
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Police on Thursday said as many as 404 cases have been registered for violation of regulations and guidelines related to COVID-19 during the last 48 hours.
Out of the 404 cases registered, 380 cases were related to violation of lockdown norms, 10 cases related to violation of home quarantine and 14 cases on other issues related to COVID-19 incidents, said State government’s chief COVID-19 spokesperson Subroto Bagchi.
Referring to the Chief Minister’s appeal to the people of Odisha to take a pledge – ‘Mo Jeevan’- to keep their families safe, Bagchi said so far 10 lakh people have taken the pledge and 3 lakh people out of them have sent the video of taking the pledge, to the Chief Minister.
He also said that a helpline has been opened with phone No. 0674-2620200 which will be functional from 8 am to 10 pm every day so that drivers and transport operators can approach the helpline for guidance regarding remedial action.
Bagchi also said that veterinary services have been included in the list of essential services.
District fisheries officers, chief district veterinary officers and urban local bodies have been authorised to issue vehicle passes for personnel involved in the supply of milk, meat, egg, fish and livestock feed.
Meanwhile, with several daily newspapers in Odisha stopping print editions and managing with digital version editions due to the lockdown, the State government on Thursday announced certain relaxations and declared newspapers as essential services.
Vehicles carrying the newsprints and newspapers will be allowed to ply without any obstruction, Bagchi said.
The counters selling newspapers will operate from 7 am to 8 am and hawkers will be allowed to collect and distribute newspapers between 4 am and 7 am every day.
Bagchi also said that people engaged in newspaper production and distribution are advised to maintain social distancing. He said the Information and Public Relations Department has issued advisory in this regard.
K C Swain, a leader of the newspaper hawkers, said, “We are also human beings and fear the virus. We as a community do not have any social security. Still, we are ready to distribute the papers.”
But the hawkers do not have passes to move around and distribute the papers in the city during the lockdown, he added.