Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The COVID-19 situation in Odisha is getting worse like Mumbai and the actual COVID-19 count would be over 1 lakh in the state, claimed Congress MLA, Santosh Singh Saluja on Saturday.

Saluja further stated that the COVID-19 testing needs to be ramped up in Odisha as only 3,000 to 4,000 tests are being conducted per day. Citing that only persons, who have symptoms and other health complications, are being tested for COVID-19, Saluja added, “The State government should immediately ramp up COVID-19 testing to include those in quarantine and temporary medical camps.”

BJP’s general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan also raised questions over the COVID-19 management by the State government as cases continue to rise in the State.

“Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had urged people to remain cautious as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise in July. However, it seems that the State government is not taking any proactive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus,” said Harichandan.

According to Harichandan, Odisha government had removed nine IAS officers, who were assigned special duties for COVID-19 management, when irregularities in procurement of PPE kits and masks had surfaced. Though government spokesperson had claimed that new officers will be appointed for COVID-19 management, unfortunately, no new officer has been given charge, Harichandan said.

“When rate of infection is rising, the relaxed attitude of the Odisha government might worsen the COVID-19 scenario in the State. We fail to understand who is monitoring the COVID-19 management in Odisha. We expect State government to present a clear picture on the COVID situation,” Harichandan added.

Neither Odisha government officials nor the concerned ministers could be contacted for comments on the allegations levelled by the Congress and the BJP.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

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