Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that his government will be forced to go for complete lockdown if people continue to flout COVID guidelines.
He said that the state is walking a tightrope to balance lives and livelihood amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “ is slowly unlocking but the threat of COVID still persists. The virus is still lurking in the community. Therefore, it is important for us to adhere to COVID protocols and behave responsibly,” he said.
The CM advised people against crowding markets and triggering a surge in cases.
He referred to the rise in COVID cases in other states to drive the point home.
“Let’s wear masks, maintain social distancing and avoid crowding,” he added.
Notably, the government had further relaxed the partial lockdown norms in the state from August.
However, the latest data assessment by the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) has set the alarm bell ringing. Bhubaneswar and Puri have reported an R count of over 1 between July 23 and August 1. The R-value was the highest at 1.24 in Bhubaneswar, followed by 1.13 in Puri and 0.97 in Cuttack city.
An ‘R’ value of 1 means one patient will, on average, infect at least one more person.
A senior researcher at IMSc Prof Sitabhra Sinha told the media that the situation can rapidly escalate in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri if proper containment measures are not put in place. “We must be very cautious while opening up places that can lead to crowding as these can turn into potential super-spreaders events,” he warned.