Other States

Coronavirus: West Bengal link leaves Odisha worried

A resident of a COVID-19 contaminate area gives swab for testing at swab collection centre in Bhubaneswar.   | Photo Credit: BiswaranjanRout

Five more COVID-19 cases were reported from Odisha’s Balasore district bordering West Bengal, taking the State’s total to 79, the State Health & Family Welfare Department said on Tuesday.

The government is worried as one third of the total number of affected people in Odisha had returned from the neighbouring State. With the death of one patient and recovery of 25 persons so far, the number of active cases stands at 53 in Odisha.

The State reported 18 new cases between midnight of Sunday and midnight of Monday and a majority of these persons were found to have returned to Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts from West Bengal.

Concerned over the trend, the State Health Department on Tuesday directed experts from medical colleges, senior health officers and rapid response teams to oversee containment measures in Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts.

Rapid response teams

While three State rapid response teams proceeded to these districts, the SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, was asked to provide technical support to Jajpur district. The Fakir Mohan Medical College & Hospital at Balasore has been supporting Balasore and Bhadrak districts, the Health Department said.

In fact, the State government had expressed its worries on Monday evening that 24 of the 74 infected persons till then had links with West Bengal. Most of these people had clandestinely entered Odisha, it said.

Many of those who tested positive after coming from West Bengal were identified by members of Panchayati Raj institutions who did not allow to them to enter the villages, the government said. The panchayats had informed the district administration and ensured that these people were placed in quarantine.

“In doing so, the panchayats saved the respective villages from the menace of COVID-19 entering their habitations and also exhibited how panchayats in Odisha are playing a leading role in combating COVID-19,” the government said.

Stating that it was not easy for the administration and police to keep an eye on every village, the State government said that panchayats were extremely important in the detection of potential COVID-19 cases.

The State government had announced on Sunday said it would take measures for smooth return of Odia migrant workers from other States after the lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Sarpanchs of gram panchayats across Odisha have been delegated adequate powers as part of the government’s proactive scientific road-map for the return of the stranded workers.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 11:57:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-west-bengal-link-leaves-odisha-worried/article31393677.ece

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