This blog was last updated on 3 April 2020.
Less than a year after cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in Odisha and claimed 64 lives, the state is gearing for another crisis — the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The Eastern Indian state garnered praise from the United Nations for its effective handling of Fani. This time, too, it is setting a good example.
The Government of Odisha, under the leadership of Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, declared Covid19 as a ‘disaster’, even before anyone had tested positive for the disease, under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The government approved the Odisha COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, and earmarked Rs. 200 Crore to augment the Public Health Response Fund.
Additionally, the government immediately closed down all schools, offices, cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms etc. and banned mass congregations and social functions.
To encourage those who came back from abroad after March 4, the government incentivised self-declaration with Rs 15,000. It launched a portal – https://covid19.odisha.gov.in for the same. As on 23 March, over 1,300 individuals registered on the portal. The government also introduced a helpline (104) for them and the general public.
On 25 March, the government announced the payment of advance salary for four months (April-July) to doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other health workers who are involved in this operation.
Odisha reported its first positive case of COVID-19 on 20th March. As on 3 April, the state has a total of five cases.