Keep govt offices free of infection: Patnaik to officials

Bhubaneswar, Jun 29 (PTI) As Odisha’s coronavirus fatalities reached 23 and the virus load climbed to 6,859, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked authorities to ensure that the government offices are 'zero infection zones'.

He also ordered police to take stringent action against those flouting guidelines like mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.

Patnaik gave the directions while interacting with senior officers, district collectors, SPs and other police officers.

'It has already been three months since the COVID-19 norms are implemented in the state. If still there is violation, strict action should be initiated against the offenders,” he told the police.

Noting that wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing are the two major tools to fight the pandemic, Patnaik said government offices must be kept infection free and head of the offices should be made accountable for violation of COVID-19 norms.

During his interaction with the district collectors and SPs, he took their feedback and wanted to know their experience.

The chief minister also said that the experience of the collectors and SPs will be incorporated in the state government’s COVID-19 management strategy for the month of July.

Confident of overcoming the pandemic crisis, Patnaik also directed the district administrations to form COVID-19 Care Committees (CCCs) at gram panchayats level to stop spread of the disease in the grass root level.

He said the district authorities should provide funds, training and grant more power and assistance to the CCCs.

He said there is a need for the creation of COVID-19 Care Home in every gram panchayat, while there will be Temporary Medical Centres (TMC) in cluster gram panchayats.

Patnaik also directed the collectors and SPs to keep in touch with the COVID-19 infected frontline workers.

'I have been talking to coronavirus infected warriors to collect feedback. So far the feedback is good. I want senior officials to do the same. It will motivate the COVID-19 infected persons in a great way,” the chief minister said.

'Take care of frontline workers as they are taking risk to save people from the pandemic. They should be sensitised in protecting themselves,' Patnaik said.

The chief minister also asked the district authorities to ensure that private hospitals in the state must be sanitised and frequent random checks must be taken up at these places, as some positive cases are being reported from private hospitals and nursing homes.

On the government’s policy of keeping the offices free from COVID-19, Patnaik said the staff should be informed about the dos and don’ts.

The chief minister also directed the district collectors to prepare special strategies for hotspots in their respective districts.