COVID-19 situation in Odisha well under control but next few days extremely challenging: Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Apr 29 (PTI) The COVID-19 situation in Odisha is 'well under control', but the next few days will be 'extremely challenging' as a large number of people are likely to return from states that have been hit hard by the pandemic, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday.

Patnaik said Odisha will create history in controlling the spread of coronavirus if people cooperate with the state government and adhere to its guidelines.

'The COVID-19 situation in Odisha is now well under control. The next few days are going to be extremely challenging and crucial, but there is nothing to be afraid of,' he said in a video message.

'A large number of Odia brothers and sisters will return from states like the worst-hit Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and neighbouring West Bengal,' the chief minister said.

Their arrival will lead to detection of more COVID-19 cases, but the situation can be kept under control with cooperation from people, he said.

Patnaik said people should assist the state government in ensuring that all returnees are registered and placed under quarantine.

'This will ensure that the returnees and their families remain healthy, as also our villages and our society. A little bit of carelessness and negligence might put everybody in danger. This is a matter of life and death,' he said.

The chief minister cautioned that laxity on the part of even 10 per cent of people will lead to escalation of the situation by 100 per cent.

Patnaik added that out of the 122 COVID-19 patients in the state, 50 had recently returned from West Bengal.

'Looking after West Bengal returnees has also become a major challenge for the state,' he said. PTI AAM SKN RBT RT