Rashmi Rekha Das

At a time when some states have made wearing of face masks compulsory, the Odisha government is likely to follow the suit and come up with new guidelines especially related to masks in view of a sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in other countries.

A decision in this regard is likely to be taken at a review meeting which is going to be chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday afternoon.

According to sources, the review meeting will be held to access the present Covid situation in the state. Besides, the meeting will oversee the preparedness of hospitals to combat covid situation.  

The hospital authorities will inform government about availability of beds, isolation rooms, ICUs, oxygen cylinders, testing kits, medicines and manpower to contain the disease from spreading its tentacles. The state government will submit a comprehensive report to the Centre in this regard in the evening, sources added. 

It is learnt that the meeting will be held as the fear of a fourth wave in the country is looming large amidst reports of Covid-19 cases being on the rise again in China and other countries.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Health Services Director, Bijay Mohapatra has called upon people and advised them not to panic as covid situation is under control in Odisha. The government will impose restrictions keeping Test Positivity Rate in mind. 

He, however, urged everyone to be cautious and take preventive measures during New Year celebrations.

Mohapatra said “New Year is approaching. People elsewhere in the state must indulge in celebrations. But we have to do everything in a controlled way. If the state will witness a rush during the New Year celebrations, everyone must have to wear masks to keep the disease at bay. We are monitoring TPR every day. Based on the latest TPR report, the government will take a final call in this regard."