Coronavirus: Odisha govt puts restrictions on ministers’ foreign visit

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Published: March 7, 2020 9:00 PM

The state government has also exempted its employees from using the biometric system to mark their attendance until further orders, an official statement said. 

Naveen Patnaik said all hospitals, including private ones, must be asked to set up isolation wards.

Amid growing concern over the spread of coronavirus, the Odisha government on Saturday put restrictions on the foreign visit of ministers and senior officers, while Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said they will not celebrate Holi.

The state government has also exempted its employees from using the biometric system to mark their attendance until further orders, an official statement said. The General Administration Department has been told to restrict foreign travel of all ministers and officers, the official statement said after Patnaik reviewed the situation in the state.

The Health and Family Welfare Department has been asked to make emergency procurement of sufficient numbers of N-95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare personnel. The department will also ensure buffer stocks of essential drugs and surgical equipment to meet the requirement for the next nine months and the chief secretary and district officials have been asked to review the situation daily. Patnaik said all hospitals, including private ones, must be asked to set up isolation wards. He also directed officials to arrange meetings at panchayat level to spread awareness on the contagious disease with flu-like symptoms.

The statement also asked the transport department to ensure that seats, handles and bars of all public transport vehicles are sanitized every day. Masks may be provided to travellers who cough and sneeze frequently, it said.

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