COVID: Odisha Health Minister Rules Out Lockdown Now; All Measures In Place For Puri Rath Yatra, Says Law Minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das has ruled out imposition of lockdown due to COVID positive cases in the state at present.

Speaking to media persons after reviewing the COVID situation, the minister said his department has kept a sharp eye on developing conditions on daily basis. The present condition did not warrant imposition of lockdown, he said adding that the government would take decision in this regard in future depending on the situation.

Stating that steps have been taken for increasing tests for the virus across the state, the minister said the enforcing authorities have been directed to ensure that guidelines to prevent spread of the disease like wearing face masks in public places are strictly followed.

“We managed to control the COVID pandemic from assuming alarming proportion during first two waves. There has been no report of any wave in the state so far,” he said.

However, he appealed to the people not to be complacent and to protect themselves from the disease by following the preventive measures. “If people cooperate and vaccination process is intensified, we can control the pandemic more effectively before it turns into a wave,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Jagannath Saraka said all arrangements are in place for smooth conduct of Rath Yatra in Puri keeping COVID situation in view. “We have held a meeting of all departments concerned for smooth coordination among them during the festival. All officials and government machineries have been put on alert for convenience of the devotees coming to the town,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Biijay Mohapatra, Director, Health Services said wearing mask is mandatory for those visiting Puri to witness the Rath Yatra which is being held with public participation after a gap of two years. Stating that those having symptoms should avoid visiting the Pilgrim Town, he urged people to be more cautious to check the spread of the virus.

Also ReadMask Mandatory: ‘Don’t Visit Puri During Rath Yatra If You Have COVID Symptoms’

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