Odisha govt asks people to follow Covid norms amid global surge in cases

Bhubaneswar: The state government will soon issue an advisory for people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour in Odisha in the wake of global surge in infection recently.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Health and Family Welfare department today to review the Covid-19 situation in Odisha.

An advisory shall be issued for people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour including use of face masks, hand washing and self isolation for symptomatic persons voluntarily.

“Countries like Japan, Republic of Korea, USA, France, Brazil, Germany and China are showing rise in Covid cases in last two weeks. However, the situation in Odisha has remained stable with below fifteen cases per day since November this year. The new Omicron variants are associated with high transmissibility, but there is no evidence to suggest that they can cause disease severity or escape vaccine induced immunity in our country,” said a senior official of the Health department after the meeting.

The state government has decided to continue with the testing and surveillance strategy as per the ICMR guidelines. The surveillance at airports and seaports will be done as per the guidelines issued by the Centre from time to time, said the official.

“The genome study of all new positive cases will be done at the Institute Life Science and RMRC in Bhubaneswar to find out any mutation in the virus,” said the official.

SCBMCH in Cuttack, MKCGMCH in Berhampur and VIMSAR in Burla will continue with the present 20 bed capacity (15 oxygen support and five ICUs) till March, 2023. These health institutes may raise the bed capacity as per the requirements, said sources in the Health department.

All district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) have been asked to keep 10 beds with oxygen support ready to meet any eventuality. This apart, the DHHs have been asked to mobilize manpower and infrastructure to meet the emergency, they added.

All DHHs, government-run medical college and hospitals, Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and RGH in Rourkela will conduct a mock drill on December 27 to check the operational readiness of their oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources, said the official.

“In view of the upcoming Men’s Hockey World Cup, it has been decided that all Urban PHCs and CHCs in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela will have Covid testing facilities,” said the official.

The state government, meanwhile, decided to urge the Centre to resume the public vaccination programme to administer the precaution dose to the people.

“We have adequate drugs in our storerooms to handle peak level of infections similar to the 2nd wave of the pandemic. Sufficient kits are available for Covid testing. Our oxygen supply system is sufficient to meet any emergency,” said the official.

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