(Eds: Adding words in 6th para) Bhubaneswar, Sep 3 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday told government departments to create livelihood opportunities in different economic sectors while facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patnaik said this while undertaking the weekly review of the pandemic situation in the state. He said challenges have been manifold now after rains, floods and return of normalcy in the transport sector as part of the unlock measures.
'The economic sectors such as agriculture, industries.
MSME and infrastructure could create livelihood opportunities and departments should explore them,' he said.
Patnaik was informed that the normalcy is fast returning in the industries, MSME, an official statement released by the Chief Ministers Office said.
The chief minister told the officials to immediately resolve issues putting hurdles in the creation of livelihood opportunities. As about 10 lakh people have returned to the state due to pandemic situation across the state, Patnaik said, adding that MSME sector has a major role to provide employment to the migrant workers.
Keeping in view the potential of the MSME sector, the state government has decided to give credit of Rs 3,000 crore to 1,5 lakh MSME units by end of September, an official said, adding that the normalcy has been restored in industries and mining sector too.
However, Patnaik said now the focus should be on the agriculture, MSME, industries and mining sector which provide work to the people.
The chief minister told the officials to strengthen the COVID management strategies in Cuttack and Khurdha districts, keeping in view the surge of positive cases.
Patnaik directed the District COVID Observers to visit flood affected areas and provide relief package immediately to eligible beneficiaries.
He also directed officials to give special attention to the treatment of coronavirus patients through the arrangement of more ICU beds in COVID Hospitals to facilitate treatment of critical patients. He further directed for adherence of the protocols among government employees in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar in view of the spike in COVID cases, the official release said.
Patnaik directed the Health and Family Welfare and Information and Public Relations Department to undertake a joint awareness drive on COVID protocols to make people more cautious in such a difficult time.
The chief minister, however, expressed satisfaction that around 20 lakh sample tests have been tested in the state. 'Odisha has 42,404 testing per million which is more than the national average while recovery rate and fatality rate are 76.78 per cent and 0.46 per cent respectively,' the statement said.
On the occasion, the chief minister appreciated the gesture of 100 personnel of Odisha Police who donated their plasma after recovering from the highly infectious disease.
'This will inspire other eligible plasma donors and boost the confidence of people who are fighting the COVID-19 battle,' he added. PTI AAM RG RG RG