Patnaik asks officials to bring COVID widows, children under social security schemes

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 1 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked officials to identify women widowed by COVID and children who lost parents due to the deadly disease in the state and bring them under cover of social welfare schemes.

Patnaik was reviewing the prevailing pandemic situation in the state hit by the second wave like other parts of the country.

He asked the officials to make COVID widows and children part of social welfare scheme like Madhu Babu Pension Yojana.

Similarly, he instructed administration to disburse three months advance pension to all the beneficiaries under social security schemes keeping in view the prevailing pandemic situation.

He said the beneficiaries must get the pension amount in cash in their respective villages.

Odisha has so far reported 2,791 COVID-19 fatalities while as many as 7,73,732 people have tested positive for the infection of whom 6,80,932 have recovered.

The state presently has more than 85,000 active cases, official sources said.

The chief minister hoped the second wave of the pandemic will decline by the next week.

He,however, asked the state administration to start preparation from today for the possible third wave of the virus based on the experience gained from the past.

He asked the officials to focus on the health condition of children in the likelihood of the third wave as it is expected to hit the paediatric population.

Stating that the daily test positive rate (TPR) in the state presently stands at 15 per cent, the chief minister said that many districts have registered the TPR below the state average.

He said the district collectors should focus on the door- to-door health check-up and added survey is being conducted from May 24.

He said communities should be involved in the measures being taken to check the spread of infection among the people.

While focusing on the vaccination programme, Patnaik said jabs are powerful instruments to fight against the possible third wave of the pandemic as well as the new variants of the infection.

The chief minister said the state government has been trying its level best to improve the inoculation drive and expressed confidence that the vaccination programme will gain strength soon.

Expressing concern over detection of cases of black fungus in the state, Patnaik said the administration should remain well prepared to tackle the situation.

He directed the health department to train manpower to deal with the black fungus cases and store required medicines for the purpose.

Patnaik said the black fungus affecting COVID and non- COVID patients should be segregated for better treatment.

Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra, who joined the CMs review meeting, said that the state has all along involved communities in the COVID-19 management and the process of sample testing for coronavirus will be further strengthened.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said that there has been decline in the infection rates both in the western and southern region of the state.

'There has been a decline of about 0.3 per cent in fatalities which is lowest among the states in the country,' Mohapatra said.

There has been less pressure on the ICU and High Dependency Unit beds now after decline in the cases in many districts. This apart, there has been fewer burdens on general beds also, he said adding that Oxygen consumption is also declining.

Mohapatra said, 63 per cent of the daily new positive cases are coming from 11 of the states 30 districts.

As more number of cases are reported from the coastal districts, he said officials are increasing sample testing in these districts.

He said the state has made elaborate arrangement to meet the challenges of the possible third wave and paediatrics care arrangements are put in place. PTI AAM SNS SNS