Odisha government expanded the lockdown period till April 30. Thus it became the first state in India to do so. However, many other states in the country are thinking over the lockdown expansion in the wake of the aggravating COVID-19 situation. The prevailing pan India lockdown is to expire on April 15 unless the central government reviews the restriction.
With 44 COVID-19 positives in the state, Odisha is in a less alarming position at present compared to many other states. However, its government did not risk the slightest against the highly contagious virus. The government chose life over the economy.
On Thursday, the Cabinet of Odisha, under Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik, passed the proposal to further the continuing lockdown, along with some other measures to take on the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools and Colleges will remain closed till June 17, as per the Cabinet decision. Odisha favors the extension of the nationwide lockdown. It may present its view on April 11, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi assesses the situation with the Chief Ministers of states. But, till then Odisha wants no flight and train services in its territory during the lockdown.
Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik served this stand in a video message on Thursday. Referring to the USA, he said the superpower has lost more persons in the COVID-19 than it had lost total persons in the wars and the 9/11. He remarked, it was because the USA did not care for lockdown as a measure against the pandemic.
Among other key decisions, Odisha will try to get one lakh fast COVID-19 testing kits. This would accelerate the tests to help 4000 sample analyses a day in Odisha. Besides, the cabinet approved to increase the contingency fund to Rs 2000 crore from Rs 400 crore at present. The Government needs the money to take COVID-19.
As of Thursday evening, Odisha has 41 active COVID-19 patients. Two patients-one from Dhenkanal, one from Bhubaneswar, emerged today.