Odisha asks districts to focus on community monitoring of COVID situation

Bhubaneswar, Jun 3 (PTI) With Odisha reporting above 100 cases daily for three consecutive days, the state government on Wednesday asked the district collectors and SPs to focus on community monitoring of corona situation.

The direction was issued to district authorities by Chief Secretary A K Tripathy who interacted with collectors and SPs through a video conference. He also reviewed the situation in each district.

'The month of June is very crucial for all of us in the fight against the COVID-19. Around 4.5 lakh people have returned to Odisha from different parts of the country. Many people have been discharged from institutional quarantine to 'home quarantine'. We have to keep a strict vigil and enforce the laws', Tripathy told Collectors and SPs.

The direction was significant as government noticed that some people do not adhere to the home quarantine norms after being released from temporary medical centres. As many as 45 people from the community have been detected positive for Covid-19 in last three days, official sources said.

Tripathy directed the collectors to form ward level monitoring committees and strengthen community surveillance.

Active participation of the community can check spike in spread of the disease, he said.

However, both the government and experts have made it clear that there has been no trace of community transmission of the disease in Odisha.

'There has been no community transmission in Odisha so far. Local people who have been infected were mostly dealing with quarantine centres,' said Director of Life Sciences (ILS), Dr Ajay Parida said The chief secretary also reminded the district collectors to follow quarantine protocols scrupulously without any relaxation. Of the 4.5 lakh migrants who have returned from states with high Covid incidence, more than 2.5 lakh are now in different quarantine centres, while the rest have been discharged on completion of mandatory institutional isolation.

A total of 16,651 temporary medical camps or quarantine centres with over 7.42 lakh beds are operating in 6798 gram panchayats across the state. The returnees have to spend mandatory institutional quarantine at the TMC for seven days and then stay in home quarantine for subsequent seven days.

However, there have been instances of violation of home quarantine norms, said an official.

In order to tackle the situation arising out of returnees flouting home quarantine norms, the district administration in coastal Kendrapara has made it compulsory for migrants to undergo institutional quarantine for 14 days mandatorily, he said.

The chief secretary also asked the district authorities to intensify the IEC (Information, Education and Campaign) drive at all levels to keep the people alert and careful.

People should be convinced not to confuse the relaxation for livelihood as relaxation in social distancing and, the 'social distancing' norms must be enforced strictly, Tripathy said.

Because of the dynamic nature and extent of the crisis, each district should have its own strategy of containing the disease. Have an extensive IEC campaign to protect the old persons and people with co-morbidity, said Development Commissioner SC Mohapatra.

The Director General of Police Abhaya, who also participated in the video conference, directed the Superintendents of Police to focus on five aspects of enforcement.

These include wearing of masks, complete shutdown in 11 identified districts on Saturdays and Sundays, evening and night curfew, regulation of marriages and funerals and social distancing with its original zeal, he said.

The police should focus on places and institutions where people congregate. This will automatically reduce the number of people on the streets, the DGP said, adding that people roaming outside during the night curfew should be discouraged.

Additional Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), PK Jena asked the Collectors to ensure quality of management in TMC and quarantine centres as per the SOP.

He further advised them to issue proper discharge certificates to the returnees on completion of quarantine for facilitating their acceptance in the community.

Odisha has so far reported 2,388 COVID-19 cases of whom 1,416 have recovered, leaving as many as 963 active patients, while seven persons have died of the disease. PTI AAM SKN RG RG