New Delhi: As coronavirus cases increase in Odisha in the recent past, the state government announced to set up of COVID-19 specific facilities so that no one in the state is denied COVID-19 treatment and suffers because of the shortage of beds. As of June 18, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Odisha has reported about 4,338 cases, of which 11 people have succumbed to the infectious disease. In order to reverse the increasing trend in the state, on June 17, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the set up of COVID-Care Homes (CCHs) and Ward Level Committees to monitor the coronavirus situation across the state. Making the big announcement, CM Naveen Patnaik said,
We have decided to set up COVID-Care Home facilities in all the 6,798 gram panchayats across the state. People showing corona symptoms like cold, cough and fever will be kept in these facilities. And, if the patient tests positive for COVID-19 then only he/she will be shifted to the special COVID Hospitals. And if the corona test result comes negative, a person will be sent back to home and he/she will get the treatment at the house. This way, the state can break the chain of the virus and ensure no one is denied of the treatment. Moreover, with this plan, as many as 70,000 people could be accommodated in CCHs in rural areas.
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Further talking about the state’s preparedness to deal with the pandemic, the chief minister said that Odisha has enough special COVID Hospitals where about 10,000 beds are available with ICU facilities for critical patients. He added,
Moreover, the state also has trained manpower to handle the COVID patients and there is sufficient medical equipment to deal with the situation.
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Mr Patnaik also added that the government has also decided to decentralize the COVID-19 management system in the state. He said,
COVID management committee in the ward level will be formed comprising ward members, Auxiliary nurse-midwife, Accredited Social Health Activist and Women Self Help Group members. The committee will be given special power under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Moreover, the ward level committees will be provided Rs 10,000 each for expenditure. At present, the Gaon Kalyan Samiti (Village welfare committees) take care of the COVID management in villages. Whereas, in urban areas, ward offices, local volunteers will be members of the COVID management committee which will monitor the corona situation in towns.
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Apart from this major step, keeping in mind the return of five lakh people to the state during the pandemic, the state government has also decided a door-to-door survey to detect the COVID symptoms among the population. Moreover, these people are being quarantined in temporary medical centres before being allowed to go home. The state government has also set up 16,815 Temporary Medical Centres/Camps in 67,98-gram panchayats. In all these centres, a total of 7,62,345 beds have been arranged to provide COVID-19 health services in rural areas.
Talking how Odisha is ahead in this battle against coronavirus compared to many other states, the chief minister said,
I thank the panchayat level functionaries for their dedicated service for which the corona situation in Odisha is better than many states. Our recovery rate is high and the fatality rate low. Therefore, Odisha’s situation is in a good position.
This is not the first time, Odisha has taken an alerted step in the wake of coronavirus crisis, on June 1, when suddenly, the state started to see a surge in coronavirus cases, the state immediately announced ‘weekend shutdown’ measure for the month in 11 out of its 30 districts, anticipating that people might venture out in large numbers as the Centre has started to ease lockdown curbs.
In Numbers: Odisha’s Fight Against COVID-19
According to the government data, since the first case has been reported in Odisha on March 16, the state has been able to come up with 35 COVID-19 specialised hospitals with 5,493 beds and 296 ICU beds with the adequate facilities to treat the coronavirus patients especially and 15 testing laboratories have been created for sample testing. Moreover, Odisha was one of the first states to come up with India’s first COVID-19 special hospitals. The state has also increased its testing, as per the government data, as of June 18, Odisha has taken 2,12,224 tests, of which, 2.13 per cent have been tested positive, whereas, 97.87 per cent has been tested negative.