COVID-19 tests to be intensified in Odisha capital

Bhubaneswar: With increasing cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, Odisha government has prepared a new strategy for the state capital during second phase of lockdown in battle against the deadly virus.

“As part of precautionary measure, we have decided to intensify COVID-19 tests in upcoming days to identify persons infected with the deadly virus,” informed Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy at a presser today.

Under the new strategy, the focus will be on maximizing the testing samples in Bhubaneswar to detect the positive cases in the city.

Addressing media, he said that city has been divided into three zones headed by 6 IAS officers for active surveillance. A total of 1958 (38%) samples has been collected from Bhubaneswar so far and the number will be increased significantly.

“To make Bhubaneswar safe, we have decided to test 5000 samples in next seven days. Under new strategy, we have prepared a priority-basis methodology for COVID-19 testing in Bhubaneswar,” Tripathy said.

Here’s the strategy for collecting COVID19 samples and testing priority:

1. Persons with travel history, persons with symptoms and persons who have come in contact with active cases in hotspots area

2. COVID-19 workers including Health workers, police, sanitization workers

3. People aged above 6O yrs with comorbid diseases like hypertension and diabetes

4. Random sampling

“If any person is required to undergo COVID19 test under the new strategy in Bhubaneswar and he/she does not cooperate with the officials concerned voluntarily, we will be bound to take help of administration and police,” he said.

He said that the government is considering to relax economic activities after April 20 in low-risk areas where positive cases have not been reported in Bhubaneswar.

He stressed on wearing masks in public to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the city.

“Wearing mask is compulsory to tackle the virus and violation will attract penalty,” he said at the press conference.

He said that spiting in public places is also now a compoundable offence and violators will be penalized.

“While Rs 200 fine will be collected from each violator in first 3 times and thereafter the violator will be slapped with Rs 500 fine,” Tripathy said, adding, “the block extension officer, additional tehsildar, ASI police and municipality ward officer will be assigned to enforce the rule.”

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