Coronavirus scare: Odisha Govt restricts foreign tours of Ministers, officials

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the coronavirus scare, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the General Administration (GA) Department to restrict foreign tours of all ministers and officials.

Besides, biometric attendance system in all Government offices will be relaxed until further orders. The development came following a meeting to review preparedness for the killer virus.

The CM also directed the Health and Family Welfare Department to make emergency procurement of sufficient quantities of N95 masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for doctors and health care personnel. He also asked the department to keep buffer stocks of essential drugs and surgical shall be maintained to meet the requirement of nine months. Besides, all hospitals including those in the private sector have asked to set up isolation wards and follow clinical protocols. Chief Secretary and Collectors have also been asked to review the emerging situation on daily basis.

This apart, CM Patnaik also instructed specific steps to be taken by various departments:

Revenue & Disaster Management Department, Home Department:  Ensure that all revenue and police officials will assist health officials in contact tracing and enforcing home isolation whenever the need arises.

Finance Department: Authorize Health and Family Welfare Department to make emergency procurement in relaxation of the OGFR norms. The Public Health Response Fund shall be augmented as per need.

Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department:  Conduct special Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samiti Meetings to spread awareness on COVID-2019. All Panchayats shall be asked to keep village surroundings clean and manage waste disposal properly.

Housing & Urban Development Department: Ensure all ULBs will maintain cleanliness with proper waste disposal. Proper hygiene in all Aahar Kendras must be maintained. Hoarding and Banners with related IEC content must be displayed at all prominent places.

W and CD & MS Department: Mobilize all SHGs to create awareness. Proper hygiene must be maintained at all AWCs.

Commerce & Transport Department: Ensure that seats, handles and bars of all public transport vehicles are sanitized every day. Masks may be provided to travelers, who cough & sneeze frequently. Guidelines on respiratory etiquette be displayed.

School & Mass Education Department: Issue advisory that floors, tables, desks, door handles and bars at the educational institutions must be disinfected every day. Sick children be advised to stay at home. Soap and running water must be available and hand washing be promoted as a mission. Special arrangements to be made in hostels


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