COVID-19 Declared State Disaster; Odisha CM Appeals To Odias Against Spitting Paan

Bhubaneswar: After a Cabinet meeting on Friday morning, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a state disaster.

The Chief Minister made these announcements in the Assembly:

— All educational institutions shall remain closed till March 31 except for holding examinations.

— Non-essential official gatherings such as seminars, workshops, conferences are to be cancelled.

— Social gatherings and assemblies like religious functions, marriage receptions, parties etc. are to be regulated by local authorities.

— Cinema Halls, swimming pools and gyms are to be closed till March 31.

— Just keep interactions to the most essential levels and even in that take all precautions.

— Being at home, reducing social interactions and avoiding gatherings will cut down the vulnerability to a great extent.

— Another important practice is frequent hand washing and strict sanitisation protocols.

— Sneezing and coughing etiquette to be followed as is being widely published.

“This is an opportunity for Odias to stop spitting paan,” he said while making a personal appeal to citizens of the state.

Rumour mongering, mis-information and irresponsible conduct will be dealt with very sternly, he added.

The Chief Minister further said that in the absence of vaccine or any treatment, “our collective responsibility is the only hope we have, to fight this epidemic”.

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