Srikant Jena’s 3 Posers For Odisha CM On COVID Issues

Bhubaneswar: While the Centre has announced a partial relaxation for some key sectors in the second-phase lockdown to revive the sagging economy post-COVID-19 outbreak, former Union minister Srikant Jena has sought Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s response on three issues:

Will the lockdown extend?
In a letter, Jena said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it clear that it will be suicidal to withdraw the lockdown without ensuring the sample test of all suspect and asymptomatic persons. Going by the WHO advisory, the state government has conducted sample test of only 9000 persons out of a population of over 20 lakh. Moreover, it requires at least one lakh testing kits for 20 lakh people. “Considering this, the Chief Minister should clarify whether the state government would be able to conduct the sample test of the remaining population by the end of the lockdown on May 3 or it will extend the lockdown period further to complete the process?” Jena asked.

He further said when Andhra Pradesh could procure one lakh testing kits from South Korea on Saturday, why the Odisha government is not able to this till date?

Why Can’t the Odia Migrant Workers return from other states?

Referring to the plight of stranded Odia migrant workers in other states, the former Congress leader said while the Uttar Pradesh government could bring back thousands of students from Kota in Rajasthan in 500 special buses with prior permission from the Home ministry, why the Odisha government has not made similar efforts to bring back these hapless workers?

Is the daily wage of an Odia labourer Rs 4.44 paise?

On the announcement of Rs 100-crore special package for 4.5 lakh urban poor in 110 urban local bodies (ULBs), Jena said taking the 30 per cent labour component into consideration, the amount comes down to Rs 30 crore for these urban poor. Again, if the government has decided to provide this amount till September, the daily wage of these labourers for 150 workdays will be Rs 4.44 paise. “The Chief Minister also needs to give an urgent clarification on this issue,” he pointed out.

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