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Coronavirus | Odisha forms advisory committee to guide it for future waves

People stand in a queue for Covid-19 vaccination at the Capital hospital campus in Bhubaneswar   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

The Odisha government on Saturday announced formation of a high-power advisory committee under chairmanship of Srinath Reddy that would guide the State on mass vaccination and help prepare strategies to face future COVID-19 waves.

“Scientists have warned that the future waves would affect younger generation and vulnerable sections. The committee will advise the State on the steps to be taken from now keeping the future challenges in mind,” said Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra here.

The committee would have renowned doctors, public health experts and scientists including Devi Prasad Shetty, noted cardiac surgeon and founder of Narayan Health, and Ramakant Panda, Managing Director of Asian Heart Institute.

It will advise the government on strengthening health infrastructure with quality equipment available globally, best practices and deployment of personnel.

“The committee has been requested to come up with their suggestions for ramping up health infrastructure including manpower for treating children, who are apprehended to be affected in the future wave. The government is committed to implement the advice of the committee,” he said.

On vaccine procurement, Mr. Mohapatra said, “The Odisha Cabinet recently took a decision to float global tender for procuring vaccine. Subsequently, the State Medical Corporation Limited floated an online global tender for purchasing 3.80 crore vaccine doses in four months. Odisha is probably the first State to set the global procurement of vaccine in motion so swiftly.”

As per the schedule, the tender will be opened on May 28. “If there is successful bidding and encouraging participation, we will start process of purchasing vaccine soon,” he said.

The Chief Secretary said the test positivity rate in 10 districts especially in western Odisha was either static or falling which was a matter of relief for the administration. He said the encouraging outcome of the lockdown which was in force in the State would be visible in coming days.

“Despite lockdown entering day 10, the daily spike was 10,000 or above. Last year, when the pandemic was at its peak, 8,000 patients were admitted to government hospitals. Now, 15,000 patients are being treated. About 3,000 patients are either in ICU or on ventilators. We need to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour if we want to bring down cases,” said Mr. Mohapatra.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 12:37:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-odisha-forms-advisory-committee-to-guide-it-for-future-waves/article34569032.ece

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