Odisha: How the Covid-19 district of Rayagada battles as shops reopening
With neighborhood and standalone shops permitted to reopen in Odisha during the lockdown, the administration of the Rayagada district remains vigilant in its battle against Covid-19.
Rayagada has so far failed to report a single positive case of novel coronavirus.
On Tuesday, Rayagada Suprintendent Police Sarvana Vivek went to shops selling district essential things to make people aware of social norms that separate them. Equipped with pamphlets reading 'No Mask, No Entry,' the SP has instructed shopkeepers not to take any chance to make sure their shops don't become super spreaders.
A police team first visits the shop as part of their initiative and educates them about masks, face coverings and social distancing. The shopkeeper is told about measures that can be taken if there are breaches of lockout rules. Shopkeepers then have to sign an agreement specifying that it is their duty to let their customers wear masks and maintain social distance.
The Odisha government had declared on Saturday that it would allow neighborhood and standalone shops to open under certain conditions within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities.
In an order issued by the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management and signed by Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, the government said municipal commissioners and district collectors are required to inform the comprehensive list of the types of shops that will be permitted to open in their respective jurisdictions and their timings.
Rayagada Police SP Dr Saravana Vivek M told India Today, "We need behavioral change first in order to bring about any social change. Convincing is one way to bring about behavioral change. Because several shops have opened now, when we pondered how to bring about this move, we agreed to make people accountable for their acts and not allow the police or government to either correct or punish them.