Calling upon the Tablighi Jamaat returnees to come forward for testing within 24 hours, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the people not to panic but stay watchful to contain the spread of coronavirus in the State.
Mr. Patnaik appealed to those who had returned to the State after attending the Jamaat’s religious conference in Delhi to call toll free number 104 and follow the advice of the doctors for the well-being of their families.
The 104 helpline is manned by a group of doctors who are accessible to the people for offering expert advice with regard to testing for coronavirus infection and treatment of COVID-19.
“We once again request all who have linkage to Nizamuddin incident to voluntarily call 104 and provide information about their contacts. There is no need to panic and hide. Anyone having any information about such persons may inform 104. Help us to keep you safe,” the State government’s Health and Family Welfare Department said in a message.
The State government has so far traced 28 persons who had returned after attending the Nizamuddin gathering. While 25 of these persons had tested negative, three – one each in Cuttack, Puri and Jajpur – had tested positive for coronavirus.
The government has said that about 40 others from the State who attended the event were reportedly stranded in Delhi and other States. The contacts of a group of 10 delegates of the Jamaat who had returned after visiting Talcher town are also being traced.
Positive cases at 20
The samples of 1395 people were tested at the three laboratories at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) at Bhubaneswar and SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack till Friday.
The State’s total number of COVID-19 patients had increased to 20, with the detection of 15 new cases on Friday. Of the 15 new cases, 10 belonged to Bhubaneswar, while two were from Bhadrak and one each from Cuttack, Puri and Jajpur.
Shutdown in force
Meanwhile, an eerie silence prevailed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Bhadrak town on Saturday, with the government enforcing a 48-hour complete shutdown in the three cities from 8 p.m. on Friday to contain community transmission of coronavirus.
Barring selected medical services, all shops selling essential goods, including grocery, vegetables, milk and eggs, have closed in three towns during the shutdown.
The State government had already made two hospitals operational in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for treatment of 650 COVID-19 patients. Another COVID-19 hospital with 500 beds is going to be made functional in Bhubaneswar shortly.
Further, agreements were also signed on Friday to set up two such heath care facilities in Kandhamal and Balangir districts in association with private health care institutions.
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