Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Days before the Durga Puja festival, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged the people of the State to exercise extreme caution to prevent spread of coronavirus in the State during the Puja celebrations.
Observing that there has been a steady decline in the detection of COVID-19 positive cases during the past two weeks, in a video message Patnaik urged the people to stay home and celebrate Durga Puja.
Thanking the people for the sacrifices they have made to fight COVID-19 pandemic during the past seven months, Patnaik said that the State has succeeded in checking the spread of the coronavirus in the past months. Everyone in the State has extended their cooperation in the fight, he added.
Stating that the people at large are wearing mask and maintaining social distance responding to his request, Patnaik pointed out that some people who are not obeying the restrictions should try to understand the situation.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the positivity rate has started decreasing in the past two weeks and will further decline. The number of new cases that was more than 4,000 on September 26 has decreased to less than 2,000 per day at present, he said.
Citing the case of Ganjam and Gajapati districts where hundreds of COVID-19 cases were being detected two months ago, Patnaik said that the infections in those two districts have decreased drastically with community participation in the fight against the pandemic. The two districts have become inspiration for other districts in the State, he said.
He, however, said that there is nothing to be happy about it since character profile of coronavirus was critical. “We have to stay cautious until medicines and vaccines are available.”
The Chief Minister pointed out that in many European countries, including UK, France and Spain, where COID-19 cases had decreased after reaching its peak during March-April, have again increased and become more severe than earlier phase. While the number of positive cases was 1,200 in UK on September 1, it had reached 18,000 on October 18. In France, the number of cases was over 3,000 on August 31, had become more than 26,000 on October 10, he pointed out.
Informing that India was second after the US in term of number of COVID-19 infections, Patnaik said that Kerala had also controlled the pandemic very well, but the cases had started increasing again after the celebration of Onam festival in that State.
Stating that experts have opined that COVID-19 is likely to spread further during the winter months, Patnaik urged the people not to gather at public places during the forthcoming Durga Puja and Diwali celebrations.
He further urged the people to worship Maa Durga by staying home and celebrate the festival with the family members. Anyone going out of home should wear mask and maintain social distancing, he said.
Cautioning the people that we would suffer if the infections increase again, Patnaik extended his good wishes to the people for the Puja celebrations and urged them people to take the pledge before Goddess Durga to ensure that the number COVID-19 infections does not increase in the State again.