Bhubaneswar: With spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Odisha within a week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged people to keep abiding by lockdown restrictions and cooperate with the government in battle against the deadly virus.
“A little carelessness can cost us dear. This is a matter of life and death. Even disobedience to lockdown guidelines by 10 percent people can multiply the positive cases in the state,” Patnaik said in a video message.
Expressing concern over rising of COVID-19 cases in the state, he said, “Ten days ago when I had addressed the state, the number of positive cases was only 61 in Odisha. Now, the number has doubled. However, there is nothing to fear about it. We can avoid it if we remain alert.”
In view of rise in the number of cases, the state government realised that West Bengal returnees are now the new challenge for Odisha after Nizamuddin.
Patnaik said, “Earlier, the persons with foreign travel history was the major challenge for us. Odisha was the first state to have started registration for the foreign returnees as part of precautionary measure to prevent spread of COVID-19. With cooperation of people, we controlled the situation. Later, people who had returned from Nizamuddin posed as a challenge for the state and we successfully tackled the situation. Now, West Bengal returnees have emerged as the third challenge, as among them 50 persons have tested positive so far.”
He said that the next few days will be important for the state as a huge number of people from Odisha will return to the state from the highly infected states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and of course neighbouring state West Bengal.
“They are our people. Only Mother and motherland come to mind in difficult time. It is our responsibility to take care of them. The positive cases may rise after they return to state. However, the situation will be under our control if you will cooperate with the government,” Patnaik said.
He said the situation in Odisha due to COVID-19 outbreak is quite better than other states. He appealed to people to adhere to lockdown restrictions and cooperate with the government in tackling the crisis.
“By doing so, Odisha can script a history in the country in terms of dealing with COVID-19 situation,” he added.