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Odisha’s COVID-19 Testing Strategy Broader & Quarantine Norms Tougher: Chief Secretary

Bhubaneswar: With stricter COVID-19 quarantine norms and broader testing criteria, Odisha has been able to contain the spread of the virus, said State Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy on Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Tripathy said that the State has also empowered collectors to further extend institutional quarantine on a need-based manner to ensure proper containment of COVID-19.

Over and above the ICMR’s guidelines of testing symptomatic and asymptomatic high-risk contacts of COVID-19 cases, Odisha is testing vulnerable groups in temporary medical centres like people over 60 years with co-morbidities, children (less than 5 years) and pregnant women, he said.

“The COVID-19 testing, quarantine and discharge policies of the State are more refined and are being followed strictly… Arrangements have been made to accommodate 8 lakh persons. Such planned quarantine system has invited appreciation and the State has become a model,” said Tripathy

As many as 16,627 Temporary Medical Centres (TMCs) /Camps have been readied in 6798 Gram Panchayats of the State. In all these Centres, a total of 7,31,266 beds have been arranged to provide COVID-19 health services in rural areas, said the chief secretary.

So far, 1,53,738 migrants have come to the State by 109 Special Trains and the government has planned to boost job creation for the workers returning home. A provision of Rs 900 crore has been made to extend short term credit to undertake economic activities, he added.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the coming 15 days to one month will be crucial for Odisha in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 following the resumption of flight and train services.

“There are many learning points in these two months, be it scientific, social and administrative. We have to re-strategise our response based on these learnings so that we are ahead of the pandemic and at the same time bring normalcy in economic and livelihood activities,” the CM said.

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