Odisha CM rules out lockdown, shutdown, but urges people to take masks seriously

Let masks be Odisha’s most important safeguards during second wave of COVID-19, Naveen Patnaik says  

By Priya Ranjan Sahu
Published: Friday 09 April 2021
Odisha CM rules out lockdown, shutdown, but urges people to take masks seriously
Photo: Naveen Patnaik's Twitter Handle Photo: Naveen Patnaik's Twitter Handle

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on April 9, 2021 ruled out the imposition of shutdown and lockdown to control the ‘second wave’ of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) even as the state recorded 1,282 positive cases in the last 24 hours.

However, Patnaik urged the people of the state to start a 14-day ‘Mask Up’ campaign and sincerely follow all guidelines to check the spread of infections.

In a video message, Patnaik appealed to the people of the state to pledge to wear masks properly to cover the nose and mouth and not let them hang at the neck. At the same time, the chief minister warned of strict action against people coming out of houses without wearing masks.

“If we follow the guidelines for 14 days, it will be a habit for all of us and COVID-19 will be effectively checked. If you want your employment is not hampered and livelihood continues, then you have to wear a mask,” he said.

He added that people must wear masks irrespective of whether they had taken vaccines or not.

Patnaik said society should not suffer due to the negligence of a few and face drastic situations like shutdown and lockdown. He said he had asked the police and administration to collect double of the present penalty amount from people for not wearing masks in public places.  

Patnaik said since more than a year, the whole world had been going through an unprecedented situation and human civilisation had not faced such a critical time.

He added the state government could save a lot of precious lives during the ‘first wave’ of COVID-19 due to the efforts of the people of the state, panchayati raj institution members and COVID-19 warriors. As compared to other states, he said, the death toll in Odisha was far less.   

Nevertheless, Patnaik admitted, the people of Odisha went through a lot of hardships during the first wave of COVID-19. This was because the state government had been forced to take many strict steps like implementing repeated lockdowns and shutdowns, which affected businesses, livelihoods and social lives.

“Now, during the second wave, let the mask be our most important ‘kawach’ (safeguard), if we want to avoid lockdown and shutdown and stop the negative impacts of coronavirus,” he said.     

Patnaik specially appealed to women to ensure that no member of the house left without wearing a mask. He said while the government remained alert on the streets, the ‘mothers’ should be alert inside houses.

So far, Odisha has tested 9,304,712 samples since COVID-19 began in India last year and recorded 346,808 positive cases. The death toll so far has been 1,924. The active COVID-19 cases stand at 5,631.

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