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Covid-19 info half-baked in Odisha, time to take a leaf out of Kerala, TN , MP & Punjab

A reality check shows Odisha government is not only violating Covid-19 guidelines framed by Union government, it is woefully lacking behind many states in Covid-19 information management

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha government patted itself for taking many proactive measures to tackle the growing novel coronavirus pandemic in the State, a yawning gap is clearly discernible in State government’s Covid-19 information management.

Post a series of flip-flops in releasing Covid-19 information, the State government on Thursday justified the trickledown theory adopted in providing Covid-19 information to general public, including media. The trickle-down theory implies trickling of information in bits and pieces.

Even State’s chief Covid-19 spokesperson, Subroto Bagchi,  justified the state government’s Covid-19 information management by pointing out that Covid-19 is not a cricket match that needs a ball by ball commentary.

Except the initial ‘C’, both cricket and Covid-19 are 180 degrees apart. When the State government is self-patting itself over Covid-19 information management, here is a reality check that shows how Odisha government is not only violating the Covid-19 guidelines framed by Union government, it is also woefully lacking behind many states in Covid-19 information management.

As per Union Government’s Covid-19 order, all states have to provide aggregate data on a daily basis on the vital indicators like:

1)Total number of suspect cases 

2)Total number of confirmed cases

3)Total number of contacts under surveillance (means people under quarantine)

4)Total number of deaths

5) Total number of critical cases.

A look at the Central guidelines show Odisha is indulging in cherry picking.

The State government  here provides data only on confirmed cases and deaths. And a partial information regarding contact tracing and hospital isolation, but successfully hides the quarantine data and suspect cases.

Now take a sneak -peek at how other states in India follow.

Kerala: This is the State which has recorded country’s first Covid-19 case, and reported highest cases till March last week. A glance at the image below marks the difference.  This is the reason why the Covid-19 graph in Kerala has gone flat now.

Kerala Covid-19

Tamil Nadu: This southern state saw a steep surge in Covid-19 case post the Tablighi cluster episode. A look at the data image given below puts the difference in black and white.

Tamil Nadu Covid19

Madhya Pradesh: The State health department has developed an innovative Covid-19 dashboard, which very succinctly delivers not only details about the quarantined persons, but also a history sheet of the quarantined lot. The image below is evident to how MP has a superior information management than Odisha.

MP Covid19

Punjab: The State health department here hosts a Covid-19 dashboard, where details of confirmed Covid-19 cases, suspects and total quarantined cases district-wise are posted daily basis. The image below outlines the difference between Odisha and Punjab on the subject of Covid-19 information management.

As per WHO and Union Health Ministry practices, data regarding Covid-19 numbers are to be disclosed to public twice (morning 9 AM and evening 9 PM). Almost all states make the numbers out regularly before 9 PM. But in Odisha the Covid-19 count is often disclosed between 10:30 – 12:30 PM!

The bottomline is when all the states adhere to the Central Covid-19 guidelines regarding novel coronavirus information management, Odisha is the odd state out.

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