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Odisha CM asks officials to prepare for Covid third wave on war-footing

The Chief Minister said that though only eight omicron cases have so far been detected in the State, there could be a surge in the coming days

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed officials to make preparations on a war-footing to deal with a possible third wave of COVID-19 with at least eight omicron cases detected in the State.

In a meeting on Monday, where he took stock of the State’s preparedness to deal with the pandemic, Mr. Patnaik issued a series of directives to government departments, calling for the same level of readiness as was there during the first and second waves.

The Chief Minister said that though only eight omicron cases have so far been detected in the State, there could be a surge in the coming days.

He directed officials to ensure that all eligible persons are provided with the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) smart health cards within a week.

He also told district collectors and superintendents of police to ensure its success, and especially monitor private hospitals to make sure they treat the beneficiaries of BSKY.

Mr. Patnaik directed the Health Department and district authorities to step up the vaccination drive and reopen Covid facilities that were closed after cases dropped.

Hospitals should have adequate oxygen supplies, he said.

He also instructed the Health Department to ensure adequate facilities to treat children. “More hospitalisation is needed among children. Therefore, the Department of Health should implement adequate care for pediatric patients across the state.” The Chief Minister directed the police to enforce COVID-19 protocols among the people and take action against violators.

He stressed on launching fresh awareness campaigns on the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands.

Speaking at the meeting, Chief Secretary S.C. Mohapatra said that all necessary instructions have been forwarded to the district and health authorities.

Covid hospitals have been set up and the necessary medicines and other arrangements have also been made, he said.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, R.K. Sharma said people who have not taken the first and second doses will be vaccinated within the next three weeks.

“All hospitals have the necessary oxygen supply,” he said.

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