COVID-19 | Odisha to deliver advance food entitlements under PDS, pension

Puri’s titular king, family in voluntary home isolation after returning from U.S.

Updated - March 17, 2020 09:14 pm IST

Published - March 17, 2020 09:12 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

 A roadside tea vendor wears dispensary mask for protection against COVID-19 in Bhubaneswar.

A roadside tea vendor wears dispensary mask for protection against COVID-19 in Bhubaneswar.

To keep people indoors in the wake of the COVID-19 scare, the Odisha government on Tuesday decided to deliver advance food entitlement under the PDS and pension for the elderly and the differently abled at one go.

While three months of PDS ration would be provided without making people undergo biometric system, about 48 lakh beneficiaries will receive pension for April, May, June and July within the next 15 days.

Also read: Coronavirus | 54,000 people under community surveillance across country, says Harsh Vardhan

“The PDS ration will be delivered at the doorstep of the elderly beneficiaries who come under the high-risk category,” said Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson on COVID-19, here on Tuesday.

The State government’s offer to foreign returnees for self-disclosure has received a huge response. During the past 24 hours, 1,325 have registered themselves through website and the toll free number and opted for self-quarantine.

Dibyasingh Deb, Puri’s titular king and his family members, opted for voluntary home isolation after returning from the U.S.

Also read: Coronavirus | Mumbai man becomes third person in India to die of COVID-19

With the 104 helpline number getting 10,000 calls in 24 hours from all parts of the State, the government has deputed senior IAS officer Kishan Kumar to lead the initiative and expand it.

The government had offered an incentive of ₹15,000 to each person registering with it on coming from abroad.

Also read: Coronavirus | State Helpline numbers for COVID-19

The Health and Family Welfare Department had collected 32 samples of which 31 had been found negative.

One COVID-19 positive person is under treatment and confirmed stable. All 53 persons who came in contact with him have been advised home isolation. However, none of them has shown flu type symptoms. The government urged people to sanitise mobile phones every day.

In a major policy decision, panchayats have been provided ₹5 lakh each to expedite and augment quarantine facilities in rural areas. Extensive special awareness meetings will be organised from March 19 to 21 to educate the three-tier panchayati raj representatives.

Isolation facilities have been created in all districts headquarters hospitals and medical college hospitals. As on now, 540 of isolation beds have been made ready.

All the private hospitals and health facilities have been directed to open a COVID-19 Corner, to substantially restrict visitors and adhere to measures such as hand washing and sensitisation.

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