Don’t play petty politics during these testing times: BJD to BJP
Bhubaneswar: Launching a counter attack on BJP, which alleged that Odisha is lacking in COVID-19 tests, BJD said the saffron party should refrain from playing petty politics during these testing times.
Earlier in the day, BJP Spokesperson Golak Mohapatra alleged that while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had directed to increase the testing capacity to 15,000 per day, this has not materialized till yet. He demanded that all inmates of quarantine centres across the state should undergo the COVID-19 test.
Senior Congress leader and MLA Suresh Kumar Routray accused the state government of misleading people by presenting “manipulated data” about the spread of novel coronavirus in the state.
While the government claimed that more than five lakh migrants have returned to the state from different parts of the country, only over two lakh samples have been tested for coronavirus so far, he said.
Despite a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Odisha, sample testing for the detection of the infection is decreasing gradually in the state, Routray claimed.
Though the chief minister had directed officials to ramp up COVID-19 testing capacity to 15,000 per day, the number of daily tests still remains low despite getting approval from the ICMR for conducting tests in many laboratories in the state, the Congress leader said.
In reaction, BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said Odisha is in better situation because of the strategy of setting up of Temporary Medical Centers (TMCs) that none of the states have done. “Can the BJP Spokesperson say in which BJP-run state, have the TMCs been established at Panchayat level?,” Patra questioned adding that no state has done that except Odisha.
Odisha is conducting COVID testing of all symptomatic persons as per the ICMR guidelines for which, the situation is under control in the state. The state has also been doing random testing as per ICMR guidelines, he added.
“As per Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s directions, the COVID testing capacity has been increased to 15,000 per day but Odisha is carrying out the tests as per ICMR and Government of India guidelines. The same testing process is also being followed by BJP and Congress-ruled states across the country,” said the BJD Spokesperson.
He further added, “BJP should first read and learn about their own party led Central Government’s COVID testing guidelines and follow it instead of politicizing such a sensitive issue.”
(With agency inputs)