Bhubaneswar: With Odisha’s COVID-19 tally crossing the 10,000-mark on Tuesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed officials to include coronavirus management under the ‘Mo Sarkar’ (my government) programme to get feedback from patients and frontline workers. He issued the direction while reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the state.
The chief minister also asked COVID-19 observers and senior officers to interact with patients and frontline workers engaged in different COVID hospitals and Temporary Medical Camps (TMCs).
He said direct feedback from stakeholders will help the government to further improve COVID-19 care in Odisha.
Patnaik told the officials to keep families informed on the health status of COVID-19 patients.
It was alleged that once patients are admitted at COVID hospitals, their family members remain in the dark for days together about their health status.
The state government on October 2 last year had launched the ‘Mo Sarkar’ programme to take feedback from people on government offices, police stations and hospitals.
In view of COVID-19 infecting more number of frontline workers like doctors, nurses, anganwadi workers, teachers and others, Patnaik said all such ‘COVID Warriors’ must be properly trained on how to protect themselves against the highly infectious virus while dealing with patients and suspected cases.
After several non-COVID medical facilities, including the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre and the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, reported positive cases, he asked authorities to make antigen tests mandatory for all patients in hotspot districts.
“The antigen test for COVID-19 is mandatory before any surgical intervention in all hospitals across the state,” Patnaik said.
He also asked the chief secretary to keep in touch with the Centre and ensure that less number of trains and flights come into Odisha from COVID-19 hotspots like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
In the absence of any proper medicine or vaccine against COVID-19, testing and identification of patients is important, Patnaik said, adding that three lakh COVID-19 tests, including 1 lakh alone in RMRC, Bhubaneswar, have been conducted so far.
There are 19 laboratories engaged in COVID-19 tests and this would be increased in the coming days. Coronavirus tests will also be available in Puri, Angul, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi and Keonjhar, the officials informed the chief minister at the review meeting.
“The state has already started serological survey in Bhubaneswar, Puri and Ganjam districts. Keeping in view the vulnerability of Ganjam, which so far has reported 2,621 positive cases, more antigen kits have been sent there,” a senior health official said, adding that there are 26,000 beds in different COVID Hospitals of which only 3,500 beds are being utilised.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines, mild and moderate COVID-19 patients will be treated in COVID Care Homes while severe and critical cases will be admitted in dedicated COVID Hospitals.
Noting that social distancing and face mask wearing is very essential to stop the spread of the virus, Patnaik told the director general of police to maintain “zero tolerance” towards offenders. Similarly, he also asked authorities to make government offices “Zero Infection Zones”.
Meanwhile, the state government has formed as many as 47,613 COVID care committees at the village level and their members are trained on how to handle such cases. Similarly, as many as 5,480 COVID Care Homes have been set up with 49,218 beds for treatment of mild and moderate patients, the official said.
In urban areas too, the government has formed 2,035 COVID Care Committees and made arrangements for 5,956 beds in different COVID Care Homes for the urban population. This apart, 818 TMCs with 58,988 beds have been arranged for people coming from other states, the official said.