Practise social distancing to prevent COVID-19: Odisha CM

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday asked people to practise social distancing and refrain from spreading misinformation about COVID-19, saying extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response.

Two days after the BJD government in Odisha had declared the disease as a “state disaster” and allocated Rs 200 crore to combat it, the chief minister appealed to the citizens that each one has to be committed as an individual and each family has to act as a responsible unit to protect one other from this pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to more than 5,000 deaths globally.

Emphasising that collective and responsible action is required to successfully contain the spread of the disease, Patnaik said personal inconveniences will be faced and families may have to make sacrifices, but extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response.

Each one should avoid social gatherings and assemblies like religious functions, marriage receptions, the chief minister said. “Being at home, reducing social interactions and avoiding gatherings will cut down vulnerability to a great extent,” he said.

So far, no coronavirus case has been confirmed in the state. “All the 22 swab and blood samples collected from coronavirus suspects till Saturday have tested negative,” an official said.


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