Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday administered oath to 6798 sarpanchs through video conferencing to work with sincerity to stop the spread of COVID-19 in gram panchayats of Odisha.
The sarpanchs pledged to keep people coming from outside the state and other villages in quarantine and to look after their stay, food and medicines.
About 5 lakh migrant Odias are expected to return to Odisha after the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted on May 3.
Stating that meticulous planning has been undertaken to keep incoming people in 14-day quarantine with free fooding and treatment, the CM advised the sarpanchs to ensure mandatory registration at panchayat level for all who are returning from outside Odisha. “Family and relatives of those persons are only authorised to register the incoming person for quarantine. An incentive of Rs.2000 per person will be provided on successful completion of the quarantine period,” he said.
Naveen further said that use of mask is compulsory and frequent hand washing, social distancing and zero tolerance for spitting in public are the other measures to check the spread of the virus.
The lockdown rules should be strictly adhered to, he added.
The CM had earlier delegated powers of a district collector to the sarpanchs to aid the fight against coronavirus and ensure mandatory quarantine of returnees at the panchayats.
The decision assumed significance as one-third of people who tested positive for the virus had either travelled to West Bengal or came in contact with those returning from the neighbouring state.