Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: In a major development, the State Health & Family Welfare department said that the second COVID-19 case has recovered completely and tested negative for coronavirus. The 20-year-old patient who had returned from the UK is being discharged from AIIMS Bhubaneswar. With this, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the State has come down to 3.

Amid concerns over the health of Patient-1, the H&FW department clarified, "The first COVID positive person undergoing treatment at the Capital Hospital is doing fine. No need to panic about his health. As per protocol, discharge of a COVID positive case is considered only after two consecutive samples taken during 24 hours are negative."

Next Two Weeks Most Crucial, Says Subroto Bagchi

It seems the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a public health crisis of greatest magnitude as India witnessed a sudden spike of around 250 positive cases on Tuesday, courtesy the potential 'virus carriers' from Tablighi Jamaat's Nizamuddin Markaz congregation in Delhi.

Following a preliminary inquiry, the State government informed that around 20 persons including six foreigners associated with the Tablighi Jammat at Nizamuddin have been traced in Odisha. Today, Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra speaking to OTV said that two persons from the district had gone to attend the event. One of them who hails from Kotpad is under quarantine in Delhi while the other person from Jeypore is at present in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh. One each from Kendrapara and Jajpur district are in hospital isolation while their samples have been sent for testing.

While many are claiming that the participants of Tablighi Jamaat congregation could possibly become super-spreaders, Odisha government's COVID-19 chief spokesman Subroto Bagchi has apprehended that the coming two weeks will be most crucial for State and well as the country.

Odisha, so far, has recorded four COVID-19 cases, the latest being a 29-year-old Odia professional who has a travel history to Dubai.

The guy returned from Dubai to Kolkata on March 18 in Emirates Flight EK 570. From the airport, he travelled alone to Howrah railway station by Taxi. He then boarded S11 coach of East Coast Express and travelled till Bhadrak.

In his media briefing today, Odisha government's chief COVID-19 Spokesperson Subroto Bagchi said that the 4th COVID-19 case from Bhadrak has come in contact with 7 persons.

As of now, a total of 610 samples have been tested in RMRC, AIIMS and SCB Hospital of which 4 have been found positive. All four are stable and under observation, while 88 persons are currently in hospital isolation.

So far, 15045 have registered through 104 Helpline and Odisha's COVID-19 portal, of which 4332 have returned from foreign nations.

The global tally of positive COVID-19 cases stood at 862495 today as against 789936 on Tuesday, which means 72559 fresh cases have been reported. The death toll too jumped by 4407 in a day to reach 42510 globally.

As far as India's COVID scenario is concerned, 1590 persons have been infected with the lethal coronavirus till 3 PM today vis-a-vis 1251on Tuesday. The toll in the country has reached 45, informed sources in Union Health Ministry.

Making it crystal clear that those ill-treating COVID-19 patients or their families would be dealt with severely, Bagchi said "We have to fight the disease and not the patient. In fear of such humiliation, symptomatic persons will hide and then if they come in contact with other persons, thousands will get infected."

Bagchi further warned of strict action if anyone is found spreading rumours or fake messages on coronavirus causing panic among people.

In order to deal with the lockdown crisis, the State government had formed a high-level committee to monitor whether the consumer demands of essential goods and services are met or no. The 7-member committee led by Surendra Kumar includes senior-level officials from Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department, Housing & Urban Development department, Transport Commissioner, Commercial Tax Commissioner, Additional Director General of Police and Director of special projects in panchayats.

Addressing the media, Chairperson of the State-level coronavirus monitoring committee, Surendra Kumar said, "There is no shortage of essential consumer goods in Odisha and we assure that there will be no problems in future."

"We also made sure that markets remain open for 24 hours but to ensure social distancing norms are not violated, traders and vendors should work on a rotational basis. I request people not to hit the markets thrice daily, rather twice a week seems a healthy option. Some 90-95 per cent people are staying indoors, but the rest 5 per cent should maintain moving out only twice weekly, to lessen the chances of getting infected," the senior bureaucrat added.

Odisha Government Forms Panel To Deal With COVID-19

The Odisha government has formed a panel comprising senior bureaucrats like Ashok Meena, Hemanta Sharma, Vishal Dev, Manoj Mishra, R Vineel Krishna and representatives of the health department to engage with various knowledge institutions, experts and technology companies to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee will provide strategic direction and measures to deal with the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic and the way forward to tackling the emerging situation.

Sources in the government said that the committee can co-opt any member from government or non-governmental organisations and can also engage any consultancy firm or consultants with relevant domain knowledge.