Corona Calendar: Know Milestones In Odisha’s Yearlong COVID Battle
MARCH 15, 2020: A student who returned from Italy and belonging to Bhubaneswar tested positive for COVID-19 — the first reported case in Odisha.
The Odisha government, however, had begun preparations to handle any case from January 2020. A control room started looking closely into the matter and started preparing for the state in terms of setting guidelines and SOPs from a local perspective.
Two days before the detection of the first case, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on March 13 declared COVID-19 as a “disaster” for the state and earmarked Rs 200 crore to combat the coronavirus threat. All educational institutions were shut till March 31 except for holding examinations.
A day after detection of patient zero, the government on March 16 announced Rs 15,000 incentive for foreign returnees to register with the state and complete two weeks of home isolation.
Also Read: Odisha’s Corona Anniversary: Italy-Bound Patient No. 1 Stuck Home In Bhubaneswar
To contain the spread of the virus, the government ordered for lockdown in Khurda, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapada and Angul districts and the towns of Rourkela, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Jajpur and Bhadrak between March 22 and March 29.
On March 25, the lockdown was extended to the entire state till March 29.
Odisha on March 26 decided to set up two COVID hospitals of 1,000 beds in 15 days in partnership with KIMS and SUM medical colleges and offer free diagnosis.
On March 27, the lockdown was extended further till April 14.
FIRST CONTAINMENT ZONE
With the case history of Odisha’s patient no. 5 giving out all signs of coronavirus community transmission, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) scrambled to strengthen containment measures and sealed the entire Surya Nagar locality on the evening of April 3.
Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Bhadrak were shut completely from April 3 to April 5.
Odisha reported its first COVID-19 death on April 6 when a 72-year-old man from Bhubaneswar succumbed to the virus.
MORE TEETH TO FIGHT THE PANDEMIC
Amid spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government on April 9 promulgated an ordinance, amending a section of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, with the provision of imprisonment up to two years for those who violate the epidemic regulations. As per the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, anybody who disobeys any regulation or order made under the principal Act is liable for imprisonment up to two years or with a fine up to Rs 10,000 or with both.
Wearing of masks is made mandatory on April 9.
On April 16, spitting in public made an offence with a fine of Rs 200.
In a historic move, the CM on April 19 delegated powers of District Collectors to sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats for effective implementation of 14-day quarantine of the returnees.
REGISTRATION OF RETURNEES
The Odisha government on May 2 made it mandatory for anyone intending to return to Odisha to register in the state COVID portal. They were subjected to 14 days of home quarantine.
LIVELIHOOD INTERVENTION PACKAGE
To rescue economic and livelihood activities hit by the pandemic, the Odisha government on May 29 announced a Rs 17,000 crore package to provide employment and income generation opportunities to the worst affected sections including the migrant workers and farmers.
CM’s CALL: To boost the morale of frontline workers tackling the novel coronavirus outbreak, Odias across the globe recited ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ in unison on May 30.
MORE SHUTDOWNS & RESTRICTIONS
The government announced a weekend shutdown in 11 districts on June 1.
Rath Yatra is conducted with devotees.
Door-to-door surveillance of ILI/ SARI and comorbidities (DM, Hypertension, TB) was taken up and people with symptoms and comorbid patients tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR method. The strong surveillance helped in controlling the pandemic.
Odisha was among the few states that rolled out extensive mental health campaign for the COVID-19 patients and service providers. Dedicated mental health mobile units visit the beneficiary at the doorsteps to provide psycho-social counselling and providing psychotropic drugs.
Plasma banks were established on July 15 to ensure the availability of convalescent Plasma therapy to people in need. Many COVID recovered persons come forward to donate plasma. Plasma therapy helped to reduce fatality among moderately-affected patients.
The daily caseload crossed 4000 with 15 to 20 deaths every day in mid-September.
Odisha saw the first signs of a drop in positive cases in the first week of October.
On January 14, 2021, 222 new COVID-19 cases were reported and after that cases remained between 100 and 200 for a week.
For the first time after a gap of almost seven months, the daily COVID-19 caseload in Odisha dropped below 100 on January 26 with 99 people testing positive for the virus. This decreasing trend is still continuing.
EASING RESTRICTIONS ON ACTIVITIES
On September 28, the Odisha government launched ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign through which tourists can explore the state’s tourist circuit through its network of quality roads as people are less likely to travel by air or train during the pandemic.
Cinema halls and theatres were allowed to open with 50 per cent capacity from January 1, 2021.
Social, religious, entertainment, sports, academic, marriage, and cultural functions were allowed with the maximum ceiling of 200 people following the COVID guidelines and permission will be given by the local authorities.
The government allowed for holding physical classes for Class X and XII students from January 8.
Classroom teaching for Class IX and XI began on February 8.
Health workers in Odisha got the first vaccine shots on January 16. Thereafter, frontline workers, elderly persons and people above 45 years with comorbidities were inoculated.
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