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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Chairing the first COVID Advisory Committee meeting, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday sought the advice of top health experts in the country on strategies to tackle the possible future waves of the pandemic and ways to strengthen the healthcare system further.

In the meeting that was held in a virtual mode, the CM said, “We need to fine-tune our processes to defeat the Coronavirus with your advice.”

The Chief Minister said that Covid-19 pandemic has devastated families, communities and economies across the world. For the first time, humanity across the globe is affected by a pandemic at the same time. It has been more than a year and still there is no end in sight, he added.

He further stated that in India, the second wave has caused so much turmoil that people are very scared about the future. "They fear more variants and more waves," he said.

They fear the uncertainty. On top of it, the lockdowns and its effect on the economy, has caused great financial pressure on many families and businesses.

"People today need the counsel of reputed respected experts like you to tell them words of wisdom and courage to withstand this onslaught of the virus and motivate them to continue the fight," he told the panel.

“Odisha has been able to provide timely help to the Covid patients and take care of their health care requirement to a large extent. We have been able to manage the oxygen support systems and even provided help to other states for their oxygen systems. We have been able to manage without our health care systems getting overwhelmed,” he said of the State's fight against the pandemic.

He further said, “The current trend of the Covid cases is on decline across the state except for a few districts. Hopefully, the second wave is beginning to recede. We are focusing on vaccination and intend to utilise all resources to quickly vaccinate our people.”

Expressing his concerns about the next wave, he said, “All of us are concerned about the next wave and its effect on children. We will have to be better prepared since taking care of the children in the hospitals is a big challenge.”

Expressing his support to the suggestions of the Committee, he said, “Our Government values the advice of this committee and assured unstinted support to take forward the strategies suggested by the Committee.”

The meeting was attended by Dr. K. Srinath Reddy (Chairman), Dr. Devi Shetty, Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Dr. Subrat Acharya, Dr. Lalit Kant, Dr. Mrudula Phadke, Dr Subrata Acharya, Dr. Datteswar Hota, Dr. E. Venkat Rao, Dr. Sanghamitra Pati, Dr MR Patnaik, Dr. Ajay Parida and Dr. CBK Mohanty (Convenor)

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