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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Despite a steep rise in confirmed cases of Coronavirus across the country, Odisha did not report a single positive case in the last 48 hours. Despite this, Odisha continues to ramp up its hospital capacity and today urged people not to take things lightly and follow the lockdown guidelines seriously.

Responding to media queries on COVID19 hospitals, Development Commissioner, Suresh Mohapatra informed that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed for establishment of 35 dedicated hospitals when the State had reported one or two confirmed cases. So far, 24 hospitals with 3,951 beds & 293 ICU beds have already been made functional while remaining 11 COVID hospitals will become functional by April 20, Mohapatra informed.

“COVID hospitals are also being set up in districts which have not reported any positive cases. All the dedicated COVID hospitals have come up in Odisha in the last 20 to 25 days. The reason for having dedicated hospitals is to ensure that treatment of confirmed cases is done in a professional manner and medical staff and patients coming to other general hospitals are not exposed to the virus,” Mohapatra added.

All the doctors, nurses, service providers engaged in COVID19 hospitals have been provided adequate training while there is no shortage of PPE for them. The State government has also made accommodation arrangements for the doctors, nurses and other medical staff engaged in the treatment of COVID19 patients, Mohapatra informed.

Mohapatra further informed that testing capacity in the state has increased to 1,200 to 1,300 per day and efforts are on to ensure that tests are conducted at district level on a large scale basis. “Random samples will also be collected to know the exact number of positive cases in the State. In the last one month, people have voluntarily supported and are following social distancing norms," Mohapatra informed.

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