OdishaPlus Bureau

Subroto BagchiChief spokesperson of the State Government on COVID-19 Subroto Bagchi has advised the people of the state to stay prepared for at least six months for combating the virus. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Bagchi advised the people to stay away from rumors and misinformation regarding coronavirus.“Staying calm and spreading awareness is the need of the hour,” he said.

He said so far only one coronavirus case has been confirmed in the state. Notably, all the 22 swab and blood samples collected from coronavirus suspects until Saturday have tested negative. As many as five more cases with suspected infection were kept under home quarantine.

All the persons belonged to Binka in Sonepur district and had traveled to Odisha from Russia, Dubai, the United States, and Bengaluru. Though they have not shown coronavirus symptoms, a medical team is constantly keeping surveillance of these people, Official reports reaching here said.

Police across the State, including in the Twin City, have started taking action against black marketing of masks and hand sanitizers amid coronavirus scare. Several teams of police Sunday raided medicine stores in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to check hoarding and black marketing of masks and hand sanitizers.

The Police have asked the medicine store owners to refrain from such activities and warned them of legal action as both masks and hand sanitizers have been brought under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) announced that visits to tourism sites will be prohibited in the wake of the pandemic from Monday.

“Tourists will not be allowed to sites of tourism importance from tomorrow, in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The visitors will not be allowed to places like Puri, Konark, Chandrabhaga, and Chilika.

The BMC issued a standard Operating procedure for hotels asking them to furnish their travel history to the designated authorities. Khordha district administration has issued an advisory to remain prepared to deal with the situation. As a precautionary measures Collector, Sitanshu Kumar Rout ordered closures of all schools, colleges, cinema halls, gyms, and swimming pools till march-31st 2020 in the district.

Rout ordered the CDMO to ensure that patients with respiratory symptoms are isolated and not waiting with other patients.The tourism sites of Konark, Dhauli, and Khandagiri-Udaygiri has also been ordered to remain close for different durations by the authorities. While The Divisional Forest Office Sunday ordered the closure of the Kapilash Zoo till March 31 as a precautionary measure, police stations in Cuttack insisted on people coming there to wash their hands.

Naveen Patnaik

Meanwhile, the State Government described the information as ‘misleading’ that consumption of eggs and chicken meat may spread Novel Coronavirus (2019-Nov) infection to the human being.

An advisory issued by the Government said so far, it has been noticed that the predominant route of transmission of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) appears to be human interaction only.

“The virus is transmitted through human to human as per World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), though 2019-nCov might have an animal source,” it said.

So far, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that Coronavirus (2019-nCov) can be transmitted by consuming chicken, egg or other poultry products to human, it said adding, there are no reports currently available globally to indicate that poultry has been found to be involved in the transmission of Coronavirus to humans.

Similar viral outbreaks of coronavirus in the past (SARS 2002-03, MERS 2012-13) or corona associated common cold had no involvement of poultry or poultry products world over, it said to assure the people.

However, it is always important to follow general hygiene practices when handling poultry and poultry products, it said.“These include washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub and cleaning surfaces often separating raw meat from other foods and cooking them thoroughly separating raw meat from other foods and cooking them thoroughly,” it added.

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