COVID-19: Patnaik urges people to remain cautious at least for two more months

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 6 (PTI) With the Odisha government unlocking temples, cinema halls and other avenues and set to open schools and colleges soon, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday appealed to the people to maintain utmost caution at least for two more months notwithstanding the availability of vaccines soon.

Patnaik said this while reviewing the prevailing coronavirus situation and the states preparedness for starting the vaccination programme.

'As the second phase of resurgence of coronavirus has started in England as well as in Europe and lockdown has been clamped in some countries, we have to be more cautious and strict in adhering to COVID guidelines,' he said.

Stating that the Odisha has been successful in effectively tackling the COVID-19 pandemic so far, Patnaik said this has been achieved due to cooperation of all.

'Now, the hotspots have turned into a green zones,' he said, adding that health workers, doctors and all frontline coronavirus warriors have worked hard for achieving this success.

Patnaik said that COVID vaccines have generated great hope among the people and Odisha is fully prepared for successful vaccination.

He emphasised on clearing the misconceptions among the people and creation of massive awareness regarding the vaccines.

'The COVID-19 vaccaination will be the biggest programme of the current year,' the chief minister said.

Patnaik also expressed satisfaction over the progress of the livelihood programme and advised the administration to work for protection of livelihood of financially weaker sections.

Meanwhile, Director of the DMET (Directorate of Medical Education and Training), Prof. CBK Mohanty said the COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, rather voluntary in Odisha.

'The vaccine will be administered to health workers who want to take it. This is completely voluntary and the government has already announced it,' Mohanty said.

He said the COVID vaccine will reach Odisha hopefully in 10 days. The vaccination programme will commence in one or two days soon after getting the vaccine, he said.

'We all are prepared to execute the vaccination programme as per guidelines framed by the centre. The country has approved two vaccines that will be administered in two doses.

The second dose of the vaccine will be administered 28 days after the first dose,' Mohanty said.

Health & Family Welfare Minister N K Das said the COVID vaccine will reach Odisha by January 30.

According to the guidelines, the frontline health workers will get vaccinated for COVID-19 in the first phase.

A total of 3.28 lakh health workers have been shortlisted in Odisha for innoculation, he said. PTI AAM SNS SNS