Technically, this is currently the Day 17 of the 21-day lockdown and we should only have 4 days to go before the lockdown is lifted. However, based on the news and PM Modi’s caution that the lockdown might not be lifted on April 14th it seems we are under lockdown for some more time now.

In the middle of this confusion, Odisha became the first state to extend the ongoing lockdown till April 30. 

Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha issued a video statement on 8th April, saying: 

At this crucial juncture, one has to decide between protecting the lives of people and economic activity. We will recommend to the Government of India to extend the national lockdown up to April 30. Coronavirus is the biggest threat that the human race has faced in more than a century. Life will not be the same ever

Not only this, but Odisha also wants the Central government to not resume train or air service till the end of the month as well.

While the state of Odisha would be under lockdown, agricultural, animal husbandry and MGNREGA will be continued provided whilst following social distancing norms. All educational institutions will remain shut in the state till June 17.  

Naveen Patnaik has requested the chief of other states to look after the Odia labour that is stuck in different parts of the country due to the lockdown. To the residents of the state, he assured them that there will be no food shortage for anyone. The state has also promised to do one lakh rapid testing at the earliest.  

Two days before this announcement, on April 6th, Odisha had seen its first death related to Coronavirus. A 72-year-old man with a history of chronic hypertension died in the state’s AIIMS hospital. A day later it was found that he has positive strains of COVID-19.  

As on 9th April, Odisha has 44 confirmed cases of Coronavirus. While this is a relatively smaller figure as compared to the rest of the country, the Odisha state has seen a jump from 5 cases, last Saturday to this figure.

In an attempt to seal the borders and follow social distancing so that the state government can trace and test other vulnerable people, Odisha has become the first state in India to extend the ongoing lockdown.