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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: With Odisha on the verge of jumping to the Stage-3 (community transmission phase) of coronavirus pandemic, Subroto Bagchi - chief spokesperson on COVID-19 today urged every person to act as per the directions of state government’s 104 Helpline only, instead of resorting to self-decisions.

During his media briefing, Bagchi said that the third COVID-19 case who was tested positive on Thursday has visited three different hospitals in Bhubaneswar post returning from Delhi on March 10. This might have serious implications as there is now a possibility of the outbreak entering the community transmission phase in the State, he mentioned.

Explaining in detail, the spokesman cited the super-spreader patient number-31 of South Korea who reportedly infected around 1160 people when the country was dealing with just a few cases. This particular incident, however, stands in stark contrast to reports which claim that one COVID-19 patient can infect 2.24 - 3.58 persons on an average.

To evade South Korea-like emergency situation, Bagchi has asked people not to make self-decisions on showing symptoms rather dial 104 Helpline number and follow instructions.

"COVID-19 is a war. We shouldn't cross the border unless there is a direction from 104. They will guide what needs to be done. The foremost thing is we should avoid being a super-spreader by staying under quarantine and not move places seeking treatment," Bagchi said.

As of 1 PM today, 256 samples have been sent for testing, and reports of 189 samples were received. So far, there are 3 positive cases in Odisha and all from Bhubaneswar.

While the first two cases are stable in hospital and on a healthy diet, the third COVID-19 patient is under observation as he has fever and symptoms of flu. Contact tracing exercise is underway.

Yesterday figures revealed that around 84000 people have recently returned to Odisha after the outbreak of the deadly disease. Keeping this in mind, the State government has directed the department of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water to generate income source at village level for migrant labourers, he informed.

Bagchi further said that CM Naveen Patnaik has thanked the media for understanding the gravity of the Coronavirus Pandemic threat and appreciated the role played by media houses in spreading awareness to curb it. Patnaik has lauded the dedication and commitment of all media persons, Bagchi opined.


Meanwhile, Odisha Police have registered 393 cases for violation of regulations and guidelines related to COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. Out of these, 368 cases have been registered for violation of lockdown and 25 cases for violation of home-quarantine.

In the morning briefing, the COVID-19 spokesperson informed that a revised guideline will be issued to all healthcare facilities as there is every likelihood of getting into the 3rd stage.

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