‘Absue of Covid rules by callous few won’t be tolerated’: Naveen Patnaik
The spread of coronavirus due to “callous attitude” of a few people will not be tolerated, underlined Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday amid surge in Covid cases in the state.
Reviewing the Covid-19 situation in the state, Patnaik expressed concern over instances of small traders, roadside vendors flouting Covid guidelines.
“Social distancing, wearing masks, and not spitting at public places was very important in containing Covid-19 from spreading. A majority of the people were obeying the guidelines and it was because of a few violators the infection was spreading. The spread of the virus due to the callous attitude of a few people will not be tolerated,” said Patnaik, amid reports of people not wearing masks properly and flouting social distancing rules in public places.
The chief minister’s warning came in the background of rising local transmission in Bhubaneswar where more than 400-450 news cases are being reported daily.
Last month, Odisha had announced amendment in Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to increase imprisonment to two years with a fine of Rs 1 lakh for people not wearing masks.
Two days ago, special relief commissioner Pradip Jena had said people in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, the two hotspots, have become callous and there is no seriousness towards the Covid-19 pandemic. Jena said 10 senior IAS and IPS officers had conducted surprise visits in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and later drone cameras were used to watch public behaviour.
“The videos showed that people are crowding markets, not maintaining social distancing and also not wearing masks. With such behaviour, we are inviting the virus home and will never be able to win this fight against Covid-19. Such unnecessary trips outside the house should be avoided,” said the CM.
Patnaik also directed authorities to increase the number of ambulance services and make more ICU facilities available for critical patients. Officials in the meeting said that the recovery rate in Odisha has climbed to 77.8%, higher than the national recovery rate while the fatality ratio in the state was 0.43%, lowest in the country.
Odisha has emerged second among states in the country by conducting 1,265 tests per million per day, compared to the national average of 580. Only Goa is doing more tests than Odisha.