Odisha Govt Advises Collectors, Civic Bodies Not To Relax COVID Norms

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday directed district administrations and urban local body authorities not to relax implementation of COVID-19 guidelines.

In a letter to district collectors, municipal commissioners and executive officers of municipalities and notified area council (NAC), Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Pradipta Mohapatra said that the state government has relaxed lockdown restrictions due to a gradual decline in daily caseloads and test positivity rate (TPR). But as this exercise is carefully calibrated, there should be no relaxation in ongoing efforts for COVID management.

He said that during the process of calibrated relaxation of restrictions, emphasis must be given on strict adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour, test, track, treat and vaccinate.

Mohapatra advised district collectors and ULBs to ensure following measures:

— Directives for COVID-19 management issued from time to time should be strictly followed at all times.

— Planning for the availability of sufficient health infrastructures (isolation beds, oxygen supported & ICU beds, ventilators, ambulances, etc.) including logistics and supplies as per case trajectory analysis. Since a specified lead time is associated with undertaking any health infrastructure creation, it is important to undertake adequate advance planning on infrastructure, logistics and availability of medicines.

— Creation and redesigning of appropriate COVID-dedicated healthcare infrastructure in urban, rural and tribal areas as per the detailed standard operating procedure issued by the government.

— While infrastructure is being upgraded, a parallel exercise of ensuring adequate human resource and their orientation on clinical management protocol issued by the government may also be undertaken.

— To undertake required preparatory steps for managing COVID pediatrics cases across all districts as per detailed guidelines issued by the government.

— Effective containment activities in areas reporting high cases on a continued basis.

— Ensure sufficient level of testing (both RT-PCR and RAT) in districts. As the situation is dynamic, a close watch must be kept on early signs of a surge in active cases or high positivity rates. Effective mechanism must be operationalized at the district and sub-district levels so that whenever cases and positivity show a surge, local containment measures are initiated promptly as per state government guidelines.

— Monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination on a regular basis and ensuring that all priority age groups are covered as per norms with a continued focus on the administration of second dose.

— Sustainable COVID-19 management through effective community engagement and enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour by involving community representatives and local influencers.

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