Patnaik asks police to launch 10-day drive to strictly enforce COVID-19 protocol

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 6 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday reviewed the situation arising out of the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the state, particularly in the western districts adjoining Chhatisgarh and asked the state police to launch a 10-day special drive to strictly enforce the COVID-19 safety protocol, officials said.

Patnaik reviewed the situation in the state arising out of the increasing incidence of novel coronavirus two days ahead of the scheduled one-to-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

There is no place for complacency as valuable lives are at stake, he said and instructed the director general of police to deploy police personnel in large numbers across the state during the 10-day drive to strictly enforce the COVID safety protocol.

The new wave of COVID-19 virus seems to be more infectious and might create a devastating situation if we do not take it seriously Patnaik said cautioning the officials and stressed on strict enforcement of COVID 19 norms at the institutional and individual levels.

The chief minister also appealed to the people to be alert, follow the COVID-19 norms and cooperate with the governments enforcement machinery, the officials said.

There is resurgence of COVID-19 virus across the globe and Many states of our country are also witnessing spikes in the proliferation of the disease. We have been observing an increasing trend in the virus spread in recent weeks within Odisha as well, Patnaik said.

An on-the-spot assessment by senior officers will help in tackling the spread of the infection, he said.

Patnaik asked the chief secretary and the additional chief secretary to the department of health and family welfare to rush senior officials to the western Odisha districts.

Make an on the ground assessment and take suitable urgent action, Patnaik told them.

Odisha, he said, had been able to successfully control the first wave of COVID-19 in spite of a challenging situation when the nature of the virus was unknown. The state will now have to reactivate the protocol and ensure that the entire government machinery works with vigour and enthusiasm to control the pandemic.

We are now battle hardened and I am sure we will be able to successfully tackle this resurgence of the virus infection, the chief minister said and asked the health department to immediately redeploy doctors, paramedics, laboratory technicians in the affected districts to strengthen manpower to check the spread of the infection.

Patnaik said the hospital should have sufficient capacity to take care of the increasing COVID-19 cases. There should be adequate number of ambulances equipped with oxygen supply for use in the highly affected areas and proper monitoring systems should be in place to ensure that emergency calls are addressed urgently and with sensitivity.

There should be no complains about non-responsiveness of ambulances or lack of beds in the hospitals, he was quoted by the officials to have categorically told the senior officers who attended the review meeting held on online mode.

He asked the administration to strictly enforce the COVID-19 protocol to check the spread of the virus and the DGP to deploy large number of police personnel across the state to strictly enforce it during the 10-day drive.

He asked the department of information and public relations to launch a new awareness campaign to sensitise people so that they follow norms of using face masks and observe hand hygiene and social distancing.

He also instructed the district magistrates and collectors to involve all sections of the society, including members of the panchayati raj institution, Mission Shakti groups (of women) and ensure awareness and enforcement of the measures.

Odisha government had on Monday imposed night curfew in 10 districts in the western part of the state after the report of the highest single day spike in the disease so far this year.

There were reports of 573 positive cases on Monday.