Comprehensive precautionary measures & public awareness required to curb any spike in infections: CM

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 23 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday cautioned that the state may encounter a 'grave situation' if COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is not being adopted in letter and spirit in view of the resurgence of the pandemic in some other states.

Patnaik said this while reviewing the prevailing corona situation in digital mode. He stressed on adopting precautionary measures and creating wide public awareness to prevent a possible second spell of infection in the state.

'If we do not take immediate action, our state will be in grave danger,' Patnaik said, adding that some states in India and some countries have already experienced return of lockdown and shutdown.

He said that comprehensive precautionary measures and public awareness was required to curb any spike in the infections.

Patnaik said: 'It had been a year since the battle against the pandemic. Our doctors, paramedics, frontline fighters, administration, panchayat representatives and the police all of us have so far been successful in fighting the virus due to selfless service and sacrifice. The state has also gained national and international recognition for its successful fight against COVID-19'.

He said the state is back to normal in terms of disease control, livelihood creation and economy.

Patnaik said it is important to take steps to prevent the spread of second spell of infection. He suggested that public awareness, use of masks and hand washing along with strict adherence of the guideline could certainly help reduce the infection.

The chief minister also said that the second wave of Covid is more severe than the first wave in many countries.

All of these countries are returning to the lockdown situation, he said while cautioning, 'It would be very detrimental for us to return to lockdown again.' The chief minister appealed to all to ensure exercise self-control and abide by the Covid regulations everywhere in the state. He said ordinary people have more significant role to play in containing the spread of the infection.

He directed the Chief Secretary to monitor the situation closely and conduct regular reviews. He also asked the district magistrates and SPs to monitor the implementation in person in their respective areas.

He said the Department of Health and Information and Public Relations should launch a massive campaign and IEC campaign. He said the people in villages, weekly hats and crowded markets should be made aware about the importance of social distancing and wearing face masks.

Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra said that the guideline would be strictly observed in the state. He advised the districts bordering Chhattisgarh to be more vigilant.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra said: 'There has been a slight increase in Covid positive cases in the last few days. The four districts of Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj, Cuttack and Khurda comprise 40 per cent of the out-of-state outbreaks in the state, while none in Nayagarh and Malkangiri.' The RT-PCR test is being emphasized and people from red flag states are being closely monitored, Mohapatra said, adding that so far 18.41 lakh people have been vaccinated in the state.

He said the Centre has been asked to send an additional 2.5 million doses of the vaccine. The state has a vaccine loss rate of 0.24 per cent, the lowest in the country, Mohapatra said.

Director General of Police Abhay said that the police administration has been instructed to strictly comply with the Covid regulations.

The meeting was informed that outbound passengers at the stations and airports were being closely monitored and steps were being taken for their testing. PTI AAM RG RG