Bhubaneswar : Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena has warned violators of COVID-19 management guidelines of stern action from Wednesday.
Addressing a press briefing on Monday, he said that it is important to check the spread of the virus. “We have been announcing lockdowns and shutdowns from the last six months but this cannot go on forever. Now, there is a need to ensure a balance between lives and livelihood,” he said.
Jena stressed behavioural change – regular hand washing, social distancing and wearing of masks – to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“In the last seven days, people have become callous and there is no seriousness towards the COVID19 pandemic,” he said.
The SCR informed that 10 senior IAS and IPS officers had conducted surprise visits in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar last Friday and based on their feedback, videos were shot using drone cameras the following day.
“The videos showed that people are crowding markets, not maintaining social distancing and also not wearing masks. With such behaviour, we are inviting the virus home and will never be able to win this fight against COVID-19. Such unnecessary trips outside the house should be avoided,” he said.
He urged the elderly, community leaders to ensure that no one ventures out without a valid reason and follow all guidelines if they are required to do so.
“There have been incidents in which an entire apartment has been infected because of this careless attitude, especially among the youngsters. There is a need to stop this,” he said.
The surprise checks in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will continue to curb blatant violations of social distancing and obligatory mask norms. Violators will be penalised because of whom the virus is spreading, he said.
The state government is continuously working to meet the future infrastructure needs amid the rising COVID-19 cases. Odisha now has 50 COVID hospitals, 7328 beds, 710 ICU beds, 457 ventilator beds, he said.