COVID-19: Odisha plans to set up home care facilities in all gram panchayats

More than 70,000 people across the state can be accommodated in these centres, says CM Patnaik

By Priya Ranjan Sahu
Published: Thursday 18 June 2020
A COVID-19 hospital in Odisha. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Odisha government has decided to set up novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) care home facilities in all gram panchayats of the state with a view to strengthen its fight against the pandemic at micro level.

There are 6,798 gram panchayats in the state.

“We have made arrangements to set up COVID-19 care homes that can accommodate 10-20 persons each. More than 70,000 people across the state can be accommodated in these centres,” Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on June 17, 2020.

According to the CM, the care homes will function as transit or screening points for people having fever, cold and cough. These people would be kept in the care homes initially instead of being taken to COVID-19 hospitals directly.

“Only those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 will be taken to these COVID-19 hospitals. Others may be treated under home quarantine,” Patnaik said.

Government officials said opening up of these facilities will be a step towards decentralisation of management to fight COVID-19. As part of this, management committees were formed in urban areas and villages, they added.

The committees will comprise local people’s representatives such as ward members, ASHA workers, anganwadi workers, auxiliary nurse midwives and members of women self-help groups.

Each committee can spend up to Rs 10,000. The members of the committees are expected to touch each and every house in their respective areas to get information about the health condition of people.  

Patnaik said the present Gaon Kalyan Samitis (village welfare collectives) will be in charge of COVID-19 care homes committees in villages while urban ward committees would be managed by ward officers with support from local volunteers.

Odisha’s count of COVID-19 cases were relatively lower than elsewhere in India until the first week of May. But cases have been on the rise after migrants started returning home from May 3. As of June 16, a total of 553,945 migrants had returned to the state.

The total SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in Odisha were 4,338 as on June 18, and 11 people had died. Ganjam district recorded highest number of positive cases at 699. It is home to maximum number of migrant workers. It was followed by Khurda (394 cases), Cuttack (346), Jajpur (341) and Balasore (222).

According to officials, the state’s advantage still lies in the fact that majority cases are being found in quarantine centres while local infections have been fewer.

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