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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar:  After Odisha reported 18 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Naveen Patnaik warned people of the state to strictly adhere to social distancing norms or face "criminal action".

The total number of coronavirus cases in Odisha shot up to 39 with Sunday's additions -- all from Bhubaneswar. "There will be zero tolerance on violation of social distancing. Any violation of social distancing will attract criminal action," Patnaik said.

"The concerned shop/markets will be sealed. Earnest request to cooperate in our fight against coronavirus," he wrote on Twitter.

Also Read: BIG BREAKING: Odisha Records 16 More Covid-19 Cases

The chief minister, however, asked people not to panic as the new COVID-19 cases were reported from a contained area in the state capital.

"People need not panic. It's in a contained area of #Bhubaneswar with known contact. Sincere appeal please don't venture out and respect lockdown. Police will take very tough action on violators," he added.

While monitoring the COVID 19 situation in the state, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed officials to ensure basic supplies in the containment zones where thousands of people are confined to their houses for aggressive surveillance and corona testing.

Patnaik issued instructions to officials as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has notified four containment zones like Surya Nagar, Bomikhal, Kapila Prasad, Jadupur and Begunia.

Of the total 39 COVID 19 cases in the state, Bhubaneswar alone has 32 patients making it as the coronavirus hot spot in Odisha.

This apart, the local authorities have also declared containment zones in Cuttack, Puri, Jajpur, Ganjam and Kalahandi districts following detection of one or more positive cases.

BMC commissioner P C Chaudhury said different nodal officers have been appointed in the containment zones to look after the health service, supply of essentials commodities and other requirements of the people residing in the sealed areas.

He said the BMC officials are making door to door visit to each household in the containment areas to provide grocery, milk and other goods while medical teams are in readiness to rush to houses if there is any urgency.

"Of the 32 coronavirus cases in the state capital, 30 are active while two persons have so far been cured and discharged from the hospital," the Health Department said, adding that the chief minister is closely monitoring the situation.

While making a sincere appeal to people to remain indoors and not to venture out, the chief minister also cautioned citizens of criminal action if anyone violates social distancing norms. The shops and markets will be sealed if found violating social distancing norms, he said.

Also Read: BMC Declares COVID-19 Containment Zones In Bhubaneswar

Patnaik also instructed the Health department to ensure the safety of doctors and frontline workers during house to house surveys in the containment areas.

Health and Family Welfare secretary NB Dhal has asked the municipal corporations, district collectors and chief district public health officers to provide triple layer surgical masks to persons under quarantine at home.

Meanwhile, KIMS started its COVID hospital in the state capital with 450 beds. At least 14 patients have so far been admitted to KIMS COVID Hospital here, the official said, adding that Hi-Tech COVID Hospital at Rourkela has also started operation.

In regard to the 32 COVID-19 patients in Bhubaneswar, the Health department said most of the cases are linked to the first case confirmed in Surya Nagar and Bomikhal.

"Almost all cases of Bomikhal are from one family and have been put under active surveillance. Both Bomikhal and Surya Nagar clusters sealed and put under active surveillance, no need to panic", the department said in a Twitter post.

Of Bhubaneswars 32 coronavirus cases, 19 patients are from Bomikhal area while eight are residents of Surya Nagar.

The department could find out more cases from these two areas due to aggressive surveillance during the complete shutdown period which ended on Sunday night.

Also Read: Cuttack Admin Declares Some Areas As Containment Zones Amid Spike In COVID-19 Cases

There has been a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the state since the beginning of April. "We had an internal target to contain the COVID-19 cases within single-digit figure in the month of March and that has been achieved," said chief secretary A K Tripathy.

While the number of COVID-19 cases remained at 5 till April-1, it suddenly increased to 39 cases on April 5, the Health department said.


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