BJD to launch month-long coronavirus awareness drive from October 2
Amid rising cases in several parts of Odisha, including the capital city of Bhubaneswar, the Biju Janata Dal will launch a month-long Covid-19 awareness drive from October 2, asking each party MLA to distribute masks at panchayat level and sensitise people about guidelines and testing.
In a letter to state-level office bearers and organisational heads, party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik noted that the pandemic has brought the state to a peculiar situation but urged party members to work to battle the pandemic in their constituencies.
“Each life is precious and has to be saved. We have saved over 2 lakh lives in the state through several Covid hospitals and tested around 30 lakh people. Each BJD member has to work as a dedicated worker in their constituencies to battle the pandemic,” he wrote, praising the work of party members for arranging plasma for the Covid-19 patients and helping families in cremating the loved ones who fell to the disease.
Patnaik’s missive to the partymen came even as the Covid cases continue to surge in the state, taking the tally to 2.15 lakh. Despite the government imposing heavy penalties on those not wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, there have been numerous violations across the state. The surge of cases have stressed the state’s health infrastructure.
While Khurda, Cuttack and Puri continue to be hot spots accounting for more than 30 per cent of total daily count, the infection is spreading fast in coastal, central and western Odisha districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Angul and Kendrapara.
With more than 33,000 active cases, Odisha now has more active cases than Delhi, Bengal and Gujarat that has triggered allegations over shortage of ICU beds and ventilator beds in Covid hospitals.
BJD MLA Umakanta Samantray, who recently tested positive, too complained that hospitals in the State don’t have sufficient ICU beds compared to the number of patients.
“We need to increase the number of ICU beds in both government and private hospitals. The number of Covid hospitals is also not enough and need to be increased,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary on Tuesday claimed that the Covid-19 graph in Bhubaneswar will remain flat in October and a number of new cases is likely to come down by October-end.
“Bhubaneswar is presently witnessing over 300 new Covid-19 cases against the daily load of 500 cases per day earlier. We had projected the active cases to be at 5,000 by September 15 in Bhubaneswar. At present, the Covid-19 graph is plateauing in Bhubaneswar,” he said.