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  • Writer's pictureSruti Mohapatra

Odisha Scenario - 17/04/20

Total Cases: 60

Cured/Discharged: 19

Death: 1

(By 17/04/2020)

Odisha has been a role model in disaster preparedness for other calamity-prone states. And true to its record of staying ahead of others, it got off the blocks and got going before most other states had even fully grasped the enormity of the biggest disaster mankind has faced in the last several centuries: the deadly novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Present Scenario

Though Odisha has had fairly low COVID19 cases, now Odisha appears to be entering the crucial and most difficult phase of community transmission with as many as 15 new positive cases in a single day. As per the administration, they are preparing for several scenarios. The participation of many people from Odisha in the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin has derailed the state government’s preparation to an extent. Many tracked to urban pockets have been tracked and quarantined along with people they came in contact with. There are people who haven’t been tracked down and are believed to have penetrated to rural pockets. Police have been involved and the IG, crime Branch designated as the state coordinator for contact tracing, a job which was being done by health and municipal officials earlier.

16/04/2020: The Odisha government has appealed to the people to cooperate in its efforts to conduct large-scale corona tests to detect hidden cases as the next 8 to 10 days are very crucial for flattening the COVID-19 curve in the state. The appeal was made by Development Commissioner S C Mohapatra while briefing media on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state. He said it will be too early to cheer overdetection of just 60 COVID-19 positive cases within a span of one month.

Lockdown till 3rd March is being observed rigorously.

Odisha’s Preparedness for COVID19:

  1. The strength of Odisha’s governance is: there is absolutely no confusion at any level once a disaster strikes. There is a single line of command.

  2. Secondly, there is an efficient and capable team of officers who can do the job. For example, there is a procurement committee which liaises with the suppliers and agencies to ensure that we get adequate supplies of testing kits, masks and PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) in time. Then there is a committee for essential commodities which coordinates and oversees onion supplies from Nasik, oil loading in Kakinada, dal supplies from Nagpur and potato procurement from West Bengal. But now all of them are working 24X7 for COVID-19 management.

  3. Thirdly, Odisha uses a lot of technology. It made registration mandatory for all those who had come or wanted to come here from foreign countries as early as March 4 through a toll-free number and a dedicated portal. The state has also ramped up the existing health department call centre (104) to a dedicated inbound call centre for all COVID related queries and converted the Mo Sarkar call centre into an outbound call centre. Whenever the person manning this centre feels that someone needs medical attention urgently, the calls are diverted to the Smart City call centre at Bhawani Mall where doctors work in shifts round the clock to provide medical advice and counselling. Similarly, there a dedicated call centre at the Home department which is keeping track of people from Odisha, who got stranded after the announcement of the 21-day lockdown by the Central government. It is currently handling about four lakh, such people.

  4. The state government has signed MoUs with three private hospitals to set up three COVID-19 facilities at short notice with a combined bed strength of 1,100 to deal exclusively with corona cases. They are all running and functional.

  5. In 15 districts where there are no good hospitals in the private sector, the government is creating the required facilities for treatment of COVID cases in government hospitals at the district hospitals with new buildings where the private hospitals would run the exclusive Corona hospitals.


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