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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government is trying all its firepower in its arsenal to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. After roping in panchayati raj institutions, the State government on Friday decided to set up special committees at ward level for effective community surveillance.

Informing about the decision, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy informed that the ward-level committees will be constituted for both rural and urban areas.

“At present, panchayati raj institutions and Sarpanchs are maintaining quarantine centres and helping in COVID-19 management. We have decided to set up committees at ward-level so that they can help in surveillance at the community level,” said Tripathy.

It is believed that the ward-level committees comprising various ground staff and senior officials both in rural and urban areas can play a crucial role to maintain active surveillance that is believed to be the key to contain the spread of COVID-19. Official sources said that ward-level teams will be engaged to create awareness and will also look into other prominent aspects related to COVID-19 management similar to what is being followed at village or panchayat levels across the State.

The announcement was made by Tripathy after the State Cabinet meeting today. Apart from formation of ward-level committees, decision has also been taken to include migrants, who have returned from other States, under the Food Security Act in Odisha.

Around 3.18 lakh new beneficiaries have been covered under the Food Security Act since March this year, official sources said.

It is pertinent to mention here that gram panchayats are now playing a crucial role in assisting the State government in the overall COVID-19 management following easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and return of migrants in a phased manner.

Also Read: Odisha Cabinet Approves 22 Proposals: Focus On Livelihood Of Migrants & Farmers

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