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COVID-19 norms violation may trigger community transmission in Odisha: Ashok Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Amid the rising cases of COVID-19 and speculations that Odisha is moving towards community transmission, former director of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Ashok Mahapatra on Sunday said that it’s difficult to confirm that there is such transmission as of now but callousness may drag the state towards the same.
Speaking to the media, Mahapatra said, “The state may be moving towards community transmission but no one can 100 per cent confirm it. However, if people don’t follow the guidelines, Odisha will definitely move towards community transmission.”
On measures that should be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Odisha, he said, “We need to continue the weekend shutdown as those having no office works should stay indoors. Though the positive cases are increasing, by lockdown and shutdown the government has managed to avert a massive outbreak.”
“Offices should have works in shifts so that there will be less congregation of people at a particular time- both in office and outside. We know that we can’t live in lockdown and shutdown for the entire life. So, there is a need to ensure balance between lives and livelihoods and maintain good health,” the noted neurosurgeon said.
On community transmission in the country, he said, “We may deny but the truth is that we are moving towards community transmission of Coronavirus. However, we can’t confirm whether there is high level of community spread or not.”
“The government cannot enforce strict lockdown as it had during the period between March and May as it will pose serious economic issues for people. Besides, as it is now unlocking economy in phase manner to protect livelihoods, people should not be callous in their approach and must strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines,” said Mahapatra.
No one can confirm as to when will India witness the peak of COVID-19, he said, adding that it’s a long battle and there’s a need to be prepared for it mentally and socially.

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