Coronavirus Pandemic: Odisha Extends Lockdown Till April 30 (Photo Credit: PTI File)
The Naveen Patnaik led Odisha government on Thursday announced the extention of coronavirus lockdown till April 30. With the announcement, Odisha became the first state to extend the lockdown. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the schools in the state will remain closed till June 17. Earlier, a new dedicated hospital exclusively for COVID-19 patients became functional in Odisha as state raced ahead in its preparedness to provide treatment facilities to people afflicted with the disease. The state government’s third dedicated hospital for COVID-19 patients, with 525 beds, will be managed by SUM Medical College and Hospital, and supported by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). With this, the bed capacity of dedicated hospitals for COVID-19 patients in Odisha has increased to 1,350, they said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who interacted with doctors and healthcare workers of the hospital through video conferencing, appreciated their commitment to serve people during this global pandemic.
Patnaik also thanked Union Ministers Pralhad Joshi and Dharmendra Pradhan for their support and the MCL for sponsoring this facility. Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan appreciated the initiatives taken by the Odisha government in its fight against coronavirus breakout and also called upon all, cutting across caste, creed and party line, to follow the advice of the Centre and the state government.
Union Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi indicated about establishment of more such hospitals in Odisha in cooperation with PSUs under the mines ministry, officials said. Odisha has been a pioneer in COVID-19 preparedness ever since the chief minister launched a Wash-Your-Hand campaign along with Assembly Speaker, Opposition leaders, ministers and MLAs, an official said. Social distancing, hand washing and all other norms laid down by the World health Otganization (WHO) had been brought into practice much earlier in the state, he said.
Two other hospitals for COVID-19 patients have been kept ready to meet any challenge that might come in future. Of the two facilities, one has been developed by the KIMS in Bhubaneswar and the other is Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack with a facility of 125 beds.
(With PTI inputs)