Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik asks people to help in caring for migrants post lockdown
Odisha’s Covid-19 tally doubled from 61 to 125 in just 10 days. The state government has sealed the West Bengal border stopping road communication on 57 routes as 50 of the 125 positive cases had a Bengal connection.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 19:17 IST
With Covid-19 cases in Odisha rising to 125 as three more people with travel history to neighbouring Bengal tested positive, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday sought help from the people in taking care of the 6 lakh plus migrant workers returning to the state.
On Wednesday, a 60-year-old man from Keonjhar, a 34-year-old man from Deogarh and an 18-year-old woman in Jharsuguda district had tested positive.
Odisha’s Covid-19 tally doubled from 61 to 125 in just 10 days. The state government has sealed the West Bengal border stopping road communication on 57 routes as 50 of the 125 positive cases had a Bengal connection.
With 6 lakh plus migrants registering themselves on the state Covid-19 portal for returning to Odisha after the lockdown ends on May 3, the chief minister in a video message this afternoon said there is no need to panic as Odisha can evade the danger by remaining careful.
“Earlier, people with foreign travel history were the major challenge for us. Odisha was the first state to have started registration for foreign returnees as part of precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With cooperation of people, we controlled the situation. Later, people who had returned from Nizamuddin posed as a challenge for the state and we successfully tackled the situation. Now, West Bengal returnees have emerged as the third challenge as among them 50 people have tested positive so far,” he said.
Patnaik said the coming days are significant for the state as fellow Odia citizens from most infected states of the country like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal are due to return to Odisha.
“They are our own. One remembers his or her mother and motherland during the time of crisis. They are our children, brothers and sisters. Taking care of them is our responsibility,” Patnaik said.
Odisha has so far kept 1.72 lakh quarantine beds ready in 7125 temporary medical centres organized in about 7000 gram panchayats and 125 urban local bodies. However, officials concede that the number of quarantine beds are going to fall far short of the requirement and may lead to law and order problems if all the 6 lakh migrants converge in Odisha soon after the lockdown ends.
Keeping this in mind, Patnaik said people need to be alert, keep patience, and opt for registration of people returning from outside and support the state government in keeping them in quarantine. “Through this they, our families, our villages and our society will stay healthy. A slight negligence can lead to a great danger. It is a matter of life and death as the problem may increase a 100 times due to carelessness of 10 per cent people,” he said, adding that the situation in Odisha due to the Covid-19 outbreak is better than other states.
Patnaik’s message came hours before a group of 400 migrant workers from Surat in 8 buses were due to arrive in Ganjam district this evening. The workers engaged in cloth embroidery factories boarded the buses on April 27 and 28 using their own resources even before the Odisha government arranged buses for their transportation.
The state government is planning to bring back Odia migrant workers stranded in Maharashtra and Gujarat in buses and keep them in quarantine in temporary medical centres for 14 days at least.
Meanwhile, the district collector of Ganjam on Wednesday appealed to the people of the district not to roam around temporary medical camps where returnees from other states are being quarantined warning them of stringent action.