Odisha likely to start unlock process in phases

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 8 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday said the state government was contemplating to start unlock process in the districts registering decline in COVID-19 infection rate.

He also asked the administration to ensure a fullproof preparation for the possible third wave of the pandemic.

He was reviewing prevailing corona situation in the state.

While expressing satisfaction over decline of COVID-19 cases in certain districts, he said, the state is yet to get out of the impact of the second wave.

He said the lockdown is presently in force across the state.

However, the government is considering to start unlock process in phases in districts which report low rate of infection, he said.

While the test positivity rate (TPR) has gone below 5 per cent in many western Odisha districts bordering Chhattishgarh though Sundergarh and Bargarh registredd TPR at 7.5 per cent.

Patnaik was informed that the districts like Jajpur, Puri, Cuttack and Kandhamal report high rate of infections. However, the TPR in Khurda district has been registred at 9 per cent while Jajpur redcorded the highest 23 per cent TPR.

Jajpur is followed by Puri (19.2), Cuttack (17.7), Kandhamal (16.6), Mayurbhanj (13.9) and Jagatsinghpur (12.3) Odisha imposed both lockdown and weekend shutdown from May 5 and the restrictions are in force till June 17.

As the state continues to remain under the grip of the second wave, Patnaik urged people not to lower guards during the ensuing Raja festival in the middle of this month.

At the same time, he asked administration to prepare for the third wave as it may this time infect the children also.

He said the recommendations of the Technical Task Force Committee set up for tacking the paediatric patients should be implemented properly.

The chief minister also directed the health and family welfare department and district authorities to raise the daily vaccination numbers to 3 lakh.

He also expressed concern over rise in the cases of black fungus and asked the department to stock required medicines and equipment to deal with such incidents.

Odisha has so far reported about 40 black fungus cases.

Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra said at the meeting that it was a great relief for the state that there was no visible rise in infections in areas hit by the cyclone Yaas.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary, H&FW P K Mohapatra informed the meeting that the state administration was fully prepared to face the possible third wave of the pandemic and also ready to tackle the paediatric patients.

Though few cases of COVID-19 have been reported among children as compared to adults so far, the state government has approved several recommendations of the Technical Committee, headed by DMET, for paediatric care in the event of a third wave, he said.

He said presently 86 per cent of the patients are in home isolation and therefore there is less pressure on general beds and also on ICU and Oxcygen support beds due to decline in the rate of infection.

The ACS said 1114 doctors and 1036 health workers will be specially trained to deal with the paediatric patinets.

'We have kept additional 3,000 general beds, 2390 isolation beds, 610 ICU keeping in view the possible third wave of the pandemic,' he said.

He said the 4th round of sero survey will be held from middle of June in the districts of Ganjam, Koraput and Rayagada districts.

Special attention will be given on the children, he said.

In a letter directed all Collectors and CDMOs, Mohapatraasked them to make advance preparations including creation of designated wing in existing Covid hospitals and reserving 15 % ICU beds.

Clear directions have also been issued to make provision for 155 beds and 65 NICU in the existing 7 medical college and hospitals in the state.

He asked officials to create a designated wing for paediatric cases in the existing COVID hospitals for better and safe management of cases as strict isolation of COVID-19 positive Paediatric cases may not be possible in general wards.

This may lead to increased transmission of infection to non-infected children. One attendant may be allowed for the patients on consideration by case to case basis.

He said all District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs), sub- divisional hospitals (SDHs) are required to earmark at least 10 beds for isolation of the suspected cases and will take steps for transfer of the symptomatic patients to the appropriate COVID Care Facilities.

Considering the total number of general beds to be 10,736 and ICU, HDU (high dependency unit) beds to be 4,072, following numbers of beds can be earmarked for Paediatrics COVID Care.

All Superintendents of the Government Medical Colleges & CDMO (Chief District Medical Officers), PHOs (public health officers) of the Districts are advised to keep sufficient stocks of the medicine, consumables, medical Oxygen for the purpose, he said.

In areas where case loads are expected to be high, establishment of standalone Pediatric COVID Care Facilities shall be considered, he added.

He said, the Superintendent, Sishu Bhawan is directed to explore the possibility of creation of 'Dedicated COVID Block. - Breast feeding corner must be established in all the dedicated COVID facilities.

Meanwhile, as many as 83,62,105 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered.

By the middle of July all the people above 45 years will be inoculated with second dose in Bhubaneswar while the first dose will be completed among the people in the age group of 18-44 by that time, an official said. PTI AAM SNS SNS