OdishaPlus Bureau

Various individuals wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik pledging their support to the administration while suggesting various ways to help fight the coronavirus COVID-19 menace.

As concerned citizens of the state we extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for launching a well thought out strategy to deal with COVID-19 pandemic in our state. We do feel that several steps taken up by your government have been well appreciated not only by the people of the state but also by the union government and other forces.


Odisha is undoubtedly well ahead of many other states in the country. The regular press briefings also have been well received by the people of the state. We do make a declaration that we shall be totally with you in this war against Covid-19. Though the battle so far looks to be not very disappointing but we can’t be sure about the future as it depends on a lot of related things over which our state does not have total control. Social distancing and testing will be of immense help which you are already prescribing. We would only like to submit the following suggestions to strengthen further the state intervention processes. Please treat this as a humble reminder in case you have already thought about them and it is more likely that you may be working on them.

  1. Many people are apprehensive of the low reporting of cases in India. It is said we are not testing enough. Good that we got another testing centre in AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. But it would be better if we can get more testing centers to be located in MKCG hospital, Berhampur (migrant workers keep returning from Surat and Gujarat in this region) and VIMSAR, Burla (migrant workers return from Chhattisgarh and other areas) which will help us keep an eye on potential cases more effectively apart from minimizing inconveniences caused to them because of long distance travel to testing centers. Test for Covid-19 should be made totally free of cost.
  2. People coming from outside and the people at home coming in their contact should be compulsorily taken in to quarantine camps created for the purpose. The Panchayat Quarantine Model has worked well in certain areas but it needs constant monitoring. All party coordination committees should be formed to help the administration at GP level. The current phase of lock-down may help the state if we start preparing for the future.
    Corona in India
  3. We are happy that the government has announced good packages for disadvantaged people who will be facing the burden. But you know it well the kind of inequalities prevailing in our society. Therefore, we would suggest that the state government should provide ration for every family in lock-down areas with an appeal that those who don’t need it to please make way for others.
  4. The government should also provide a monthly financial support in advance to each family of the distressed slum dwellers, daily wage earners, construction and temporary workers working in the state, landless laborers, marginal farmers, physically challenged persons and also migrant workers who have come back to the state because of lock-down in their respective work places. They are in real distress now. But door to door delivery of services and support is the only option.
    1. Again milk farmers are in terrible distress as procurement has almost stopped or has been reduced to a very low level and sweet shops have been closed across the state. They need to be supported not only for their families but also for their cattle. All those who are in the process of milk production need support. Cattle feed has stopped coming as markets and movements have been stopped. People apprehend this may lead to large scale casualties of cows in the state.

      vegetable market

    2. The government might have been going through packages announced by states like Kerala who don’t have mineral and industrial resources of the kind we have in our state. Some of the packages deserve active consideration by our government.
    3. The low paid workers engaged in essential services and their maintenance during the intervention and lockdown phase should be given additional support since their families may suffer in such situations.
    4. The government may ensure door to door delivery of essential services like ration, milk, and vegetables in cities in order to avoid crowds gathering at a few places that are open.
    5. Door to door on call services to patients in emergency, old people and persons in distress may please be ensured.

      108 Odisha Ambulance

    6. Civil society groups may please be encouraged to get into action and take care of areas just to support your intervention processes, more particularly in ensuring social distancing, psychological traumas, identifying lapses and lacunae in the intervention processes and also in ensuring availability of essential service to the community. It is obvious that they have to take adequate precautionary and protective measures while rendering this service.
    7. All school and college buildings should be turned into social distancing facilitation centers for accommodating slum dwellers and the homeless by making adequate facilities in such places. This is because social distancing and self isolation may not be possible for them in such places and particularly for the people who don’t have a home.
    8. All medical college hospital OPDs should be closed down except the Casualty Units or 24 x7 Emergency Units. A special medical human resource group has to be built with adequate support infrastructure to deal with stage 3 cases if unfortunately such a situation arises. All state run medical colleges and hospitals may be fully equipped to deal with any eventualities.
    9. Proactive steps need to be taken for increasing ICUs, Ventilators and all necessary equipment for doctors and medical staff who will deal with the COVID-19 patients. You may approach the union government for support but that route may take more time. You may have to think independently to mobilize resources urgently for the purpose.

      railway project

    10. The inconveniences caused to internal and interstate travelers because of certain sudden decisions should be looked after by dedicated and decentralized government groups. We must be keeping this in our mind that other states may not follow the same lockdown approach.
    11. It would be good if the Government takes in to confidence all political parties in the state and sit with them to ensure their involvement in the war against COVID-19.

    Dr. Debi Prasana  Pattanayak , Linguist and Educationist
    Mr. Natabar Sarangi, Organic Farmer
    Prof. Swadhinanada Pattanayak, Educationist
    Prof. Birendra Nayak, Educationist
    Mr.Prasant Pattnaik, Senior Journalist
    Mr. Rabi Das, Senior Journalist
    Mr. Prafulla Samantara, Environmentalist
    Dr. Asha Hans, Educationist
    Mr. Deba Parsad Ray, Social Activist
    Ms Pramila Swani, Women’s Rights Activist
    Mr. Khirod Raut, Advocate, Odisha High Court
    Mr. Sudhir Pattnaik, Senior Journalist
    Prof. Bijoy Bohidar, Educationist
    Prof. Golak Bihari Nath, Educationist
    Mr. Binod Sahu, Advocate, Bhubaneswar


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