Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday appreciated the efforts of the government officials in handling the twin challenge of COVID-19 and cyclone Amphan in the past few days. He also praised the people of the state for cooperating with the government.
"My special appreciation for all those who handled COVID-19 on one hand and a super cyclone on the other hand and ensured zero casualties. The government officials restored road connectivity in 24 hours and power connectivity in 48 hours," Patnaik said at a review meeting through video conferencing with government officials to assess the current COVID-19 situation in the state.
"People of the state have sacrificed so much in all these and cooperated completely with the government. Their sacrifice is the inspiration for us to run the extra mile in discharging our duty," he added.
Speaking on the continuing challenge of COVID-19, Patnaik said, "We have to restrategise our response based on the learnings from the situation so that we are ahead of the pandemic and at the same time bring normalcy in economic and livelihood activities."
"Our learnings on the behavior of virus in India and more particularly in Odisha has given us hope that with strict social distancing, wearing masks and repeated hand washing we should be able to successfully contain the spread of the pandemic," he added.
"Also our learning is that the vulnerable population needs extra care, elderly persons, people with comorbid conditions, etc. So, I would suggest that we plan a fortnight of serious awareness creation in all the above-mentioned points," he further said.
Patnaik further mentioned that testing has to be smart to take care of the frontline workers and vulnerable population.
"We have tuned our basic mandatory quarantine period on par with ICMR recommendations. At the same time, we have empowered Collectors to further extend institutional quarantine on a need-based manner in the overall interest of containing COVID spread," the Odisha CM said.
"95 percent of our positive cases are from quarantine centers. This shows the robustness of our system and the efforts put by Sarpanches, people's representatives and the entire government machinery from top to bottom cutting across departments. I appreciate each one of you for working day and night in our fight against COVID-19," he added.
He further said that with the opening up of flights and railways, the coming 15 days to a month would be more challenging but expressed confidence that the state would handle it in a professional manner with a human face.
( With inputs from ANI )