Can t afford to lower guard as COVID second wave still active in coastal districts: CM

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 24 (PTI) Noting that Odisha can't afford to lower guard against the COVID-19, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday said the second wave of the pandemic is still active in certain coastal districts even as it has declined in the western and southern parts of the state.

This apart, the chief minister said that while the experts give different opinions on the possible third wave of the pandemic, some states have already reported existence of the Delta variant of the virus.

Therefore, the state cannot relax at this juncture, he said.

'Preparation, caution and cooperation are three major tools to fight against the pandemic. The government will prepare, the public become aware and cooperate to face the upcoming challenges,' Patnaik said.

He was inaugurating certain health facilities and laying foundation stones for medical oxygen storage and generation plants at varied hospitals across the state.

While works are going on for Liquid Medical Oxygen and PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plants in 15 districts, Patnaik laid foundation for similar projects in eight more districts such as Baragarh, Ganjam, Jajpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Rayagada and Malkangiri.

Patnaik also inaugurated the 12-bed Special Neonatal Care Unit & OPD complex at City Hospitall in Berhampur, 4-bed dialysis unit at sub-divisional hospital at Bhanjanagar, Primary Health Centre at Hugulapata of Kukudakhandi block and an OPD Complex at community health centre at Bomkei under Digapandi block of Ganjam district.

Meanwhile, keeping the prevailing pandemic situation in mind, the state government has decided to launch Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunisation Program (UIP).

The Program will be launched on June 30 at 11.30 AM at the state level through virtual mode.

After the introduction of PCV in routine immunization, it will benefit nearly 8 lakh young children annually in the state and this will help in reducing risk of morbidity and mortality due to Pneumonia and meningitis among children in the state.

Health & Family Welfare Department, Additional Chief Secretary, PK Mohapatra in a letter has asked all the Collectors, Municipal Commissioners and Chief District Medical & Public Health Offices (CDM &PHOs) to ensure required support for introduction of PCV under UIP.

The officers along with their health team and senior officers have been asked to participate in the state-level launching through virtual mode.

After that district-level launching will be conducted by strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocol.

The officials further advised to invite public figure such as MP, MLA for launching the program at district level.

Adequate activities like media briefing, display of hoarding, banner, mikeing, swasthya kantha (walling) and others shall be conducted to create awareness among the community, Mohapatra said.

At the launching site, IEC activities will be conducted and PCV doses will be administered to 3 to 5 infants aged about 1 year and six month.

In another letter, Mohapatra directed the districts and municipal administrations to keep a close watch on early sign of surge in active cases and high positivity rates.

'As you are aware, presently we are witnessing a consistent decrease in daily Covid-19 cases and sample positivity and the imposed restrictions are now being relaxed.

'But, it is critical that this exercise is carefully calibrated and there may not be any slackening in ongoing efforts for Covid management,' the ACS pointed out.

During the process of calibrated relaxing of restrictions, focus must remain on adherence to COVID appropriate behavior, test, track, treat and vaccination, he said.

Mohapatra asked the officials to follow all directives for COVID-19 management issued by the government from time to time. They have been advised to do proper planning for availability of sufficient health infrastructures (isolation beds, oxygen supported & ICU beds, ventilators, ambulances etc.) including logistics arid supplies as per the case trajectory analysis.

While the infrastructure is being upgraded, the officers have been instructed do a parallel exercise of ensuring adequate human resource and their orientation on clinical management protocol issued by Government Mohapatra also instructed authorities to undertake required preparatory steps for managing COVID pediatrics cases across all districts as per the detailed guidelines issued by the Government.

The collectors and commissioners were advised to take steps for effective containment activities in areas reporting high cases, sufficient level of testing, operationalisation of mechanism at district and sub-district levels and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the state government has also decided to discontinue with allocation of state procured vaccines to private hospitals.

As the union government is supplying vaccines for all age groups, the allocation to private hospitals is now cancelled,, the official said. PTI AAM SNS SNS

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