- Advisory was issued after government employees tested COVID positive
- In small outbreaks, areas visited by the patient in 48 hours to be sealed
- For bigger outbreak, the entire building needs to be closed for 48 hours
New Delhi: When a few government employees in Bhubaneswar tested positive for COVID-19 at Lok Seva Bhawan (Secretariat), the Odisha government issued an advisory for workplace management. The advisory directs that the entire office building will be closed for 48 hours. The advisory reads,
If there are one or more cases reported, places and areas visited by the COVID patient in the past 48 hours will be sealed for entry.
Furthermore, it says that there is no need to close the entire office building or halt work in other areas of the office.
The work can be resumed after following the laid down disinfection protocol – closing down for minimum 24 hours after disinfection, it added.
However, if there is a large outbreak, which means more than five cases, the entire building has to be closed for 48 hours after thorough disinfection, the advisory said.
Dr Subhash Dash, who is a Physician in Bhubaneswar since two decades, told NDTV that such outbreaks at workplaces could be inevitable in coming months. He said that while the advisory is a welcome move, we need to dig deep into the issue of the lockdown,
The problem of COVID spike in Odisha is simple. We had imposed A lockdown in March end, when the central government announced a nationwide lockdown to control the virus. However, at the time, Odisha and other eastern states did not require a lockdown because there were no cases here. Due to this hasty decision of a lockdown, so many migrants were forced to return back to their hometowns on foot, all over the country and unknowingly, a lot of them carried the virus with them.
Dr Dash says that the due to the lockdown, Odisha’s economy, just like other states, suffered so much that now they can’t help but restart their economy.
Malls, offices, etc in the state are opening up now, when the state is already observing a spike in the cases. however, this is the time that we can’t afford a lockdown. In my opinion, a lockdown for 1.37 billion people should have been more planned and in phases. Migrant workers should have been given the opportunity to safely reach home, with the lockdown starting from the worst affected states. Many states need a lockdown now from health perspective, but can’t afford it from an economic perspective, Odisha being one of them.
According to the Union Health Ministry, Odisha has 19,835 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 5,977 active cases, 13,750 recoveries and 108 deaths as on July 24.
In view of the surge in COVID cases, an official from Odisha’s Health Department told NDTV that the ‘health infrastructure is stable in the state’. He said,
There is an adequate stock of medicine and logistics for the coming months to combat COVID-19.
Talking about the entire state and its preparedness to deal with the pandemic the official added,
Odisha has 35 COVID-19 dedicated hospitals across the state with 5,577 beds, of which 4,287 are currently occupied. Similarly, of the 312 ICU beds available in the state, 126 have been occupied. In addition, the state has initiated Plasma Therapy to treat COVID patients at three dedicated COVID-19 Hospitals – SUM Hospital, KIMS Hospital in Bhubaneswar and Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack. We are also slowly increasing testing in the state, currently, the capacity is 7,000 tests per day, we plan to soon ramp it up to 9,000 Covid-19 tests a day.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.