Fight against coronavirus not an IPL match: Odisha government

With 44 positive cases as of now, Odisha may have much to be thankful for. However, the speed at which positive cases spiked, from 5 last Saturday to 44 as on Thursday afternoon has taken citizens by surprise. With new areas being announced as con...

Agencies
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said he was prioritising lives over economy and announced an extension of the lock down until April 30.
After getting off to a good start the Odisha government seems to be struggling for answers over its containment strategies for capital city Bhubaneswar.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said he was prioritising lives over economy and announced an extension of the lock down until April 30.

With 44 positive cases as of now, Odisha may have much to be thankful for. However, the speed at which positive cases spiked, from 5 last Saturday to 44 as on Thursday afternoon has taken citizens by surprise. With new areas being announced as containment zones every day residents and administration is having to rise to new challenges.


The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) last weekend said it was sealing Bomikhal after finding 19 cases related to three positive cases announced earlier. On Wednesday it notified the busy commercial area of Satya Nagar as a containment zone, purportedly because four of the people presumed to have tested positive in Bomikhal, in fact lived in Satya Nagar. The administration has refused to clarify whether this information was known at the time of them testing positive. It did not take well to being questioned about it either.

A health department spatial distribution map of Covid19 cases further showed a positive case in Unit V and BJB Nagar – details that hadn’t yet been shared with the public – further muddying the air. BMC followed that up asking anyone that had hung out at a government OMFED milk stall in Satya Nagar to quarantine themselves.

Government spokesperson, Subroto Bagchi on Thursday said this was not an Indian Premier League match where the administration could give a ball by ball account. “When we watch an IPL match, we aren’t just satisfied with how the batsman tackles each ball but want playbacks, and aren’t satisfied with just playback alone, and want to see it in slow motion. We have 44 cases today, are we going to look for playbacks when the count reaches 400?,” asked Bagchi. The government would share appropriate information at the appropriate time, it wasn’t possible or sensible for it to share real time info in these extra-ordinary times, he added.
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Of the total 44 cases as of Thursday afternoon, 34 were from capital city Bhubaneswar of which two had now recovered and one person had died. Half a dozen containmnet zones have been chalked out - Surya Nagar, Bomikhal, Satyanagar, Kapilaprasad-Sundarpada, Jadupur-Begunia - an IB colony in Unit V and a post office in BJP Nagar have been sealed, as well as the milk stall in Satya Nagar. More than 8000 households within these barricaded areas are under active surveillance, with the BMC checking in on at least fifty per cent of the homes everyday while struggling to provide essential supplies.

Outside of Bhubaneswar, three positive cases have been reported from Bhadrak and one each form Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Kalahandi. The two new cases on Thursday were that of a 51 year old lady from Dhenkanal and 69 year old man brought in an ambulance to a private clinic in Bhubaneswar from Medinipur in West Bengal.

Not wearing a mask in public is now punishable -- by a fine of Rs 200 for the first three times, and Rs 500 after that. Odisha also promulgated an ordinance to increase penal provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 to make punishable any violation of rules notified under the act by either a jail term of two years or a fine of Rs 10,000.
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