Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release Rs 300 crore to the State for the management of upsurge in Covid-19 pandemic.

Participating in the meeting with PM Modi over Covid situation along with other chief ministers, Patnaik said, “During 2020-21, Odisha had requested for Rs 400 crores under Emergency Covid Response Plan (ECRP), but we received only Rs 146 crores. In view of the new wave of Covid, it is requested that at least Rs 300 crores be released to Odisha for 2021-22 for Covid Management.”

The CM thanked the Union Government for allowing the States, under SDRF guidelines, to spend up to 50% of the annual allocation for Covid-related activities during 2020-21 and urged that the same guidelines may be continued for the year 2021-22 as well.

He has also raised the issue pertaining to supply of vaccine and requested the Centre to ensure advance release of at least 10 days stock of the vaccines for Odisha.

“Odisha has been doing well in vaccination program with among the lowest wastage in the country and efficient system of administering the vaccine to eligible persons,” the CM said.

“We have not been able to ramp up the vaccination due to supply issues. We are currently able to vaccinate 2.5 lakh persons per day and have capability to increase further. We request that at least 10 days stock of the vaccines is ensured for Odisha,” he added.

He further said the State has reactivated its system to tackle the new rise in the Covid cases especially in districts bordering some states with high incidence of the virus.

“The entire country has to put up a united front against this pandemic and we will continue to provide support in this fight,” he added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)