Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday expressed optimism that Odisha can create history in India by containing the spread of COVID-19 if people extend their wholehearted support and strictly adhere to the safety guidelines.
In a video message, the Chief Minister said the state government had faced the first challenge during the return of non-resident Odias from abroad. To keep a detailed account of these foreign returnees, the state government had made a mandatory provision for them to register in the government portal mentioning their detailed travel history.
With this, Odisha became the first state in the country to introduce registration of foreign returnees. Due to the cooperation of these returnees, the state government was able to bring the situation under control.
“The second challenge was to look after the health of the Nizamuddin returnees and we successfully managed the situation due to your unstinting support,” he added.
The next big challenge, he said, would be to take care of the health of migrant Odia workers who have returned from neighbouring state of West Bengal. “Out of the total number of COVID patients, 50 of them are linked to West Bengal. Thankfully, we have effectively managed the situation due to your unflinching cooperation,” he pointed out.
Stating that the next few days will be extremely crucial for the state as thousands of migrant workers will return from COVID-affected states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal after the second phase lockdown ends on May 3, Patnaik said the state might see a sudden spike in positive cases.
“But this situation can be brought under control if the people extend their cooperation to the state government. Since the migrant Odia workers are our children, brothers and sisters, it is our responsibility to take care of them,” he noted.
Urging the people to remain careful and alert and help the state government in the registration of these migrant workers and keep them in quarantine till complete recovery from the disease, the CM said by doing this, the family, village and the society will remain safe. “This is a matter of life and death. Your slight negligence can put the society at risk. Even a mistake by 10 per cent people can aggravate the situation by a hundred times,” he maintained.
“Ten days ago, I had interacted with you. At that time the number of COVID positive cases in Odisha was 61. Now the number has doubled. But there is no need to panic. Compared to other states, the situation in Odisha is much better. If we remain careful and abide by the guidelines of the government, I am sure we can successfully prevent the spread of this killer disease,” the Chief Minister averred.