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Odisha reported its first coronavirus fatality after a 72-year-old man died on Tuesday, April 7. Odisha health department stated that the man from Bhubaneswar's Jharpada died at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, on Monday, April 6.
He was admitted at the hospital two days ago with a complaint of respiratory distress and had a history of chronic hypertension and high blood pressure.
The number of confirmed cases in the state stands at 41 as of now. The state has been dealing with the pandemic in phased and a systematic manner and has asked the Centre for test kits and PPE for doctors.
Testing In Odisha
According to a Deccan Herald report, the Naveen Patnaik government has requested the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to allow three additional hospitals to conduct COVID-19 tests to facilitate early diagnosis of the virus.
Since the number of cases is on a rise, the government is seeking a speedy approval from the central medical organisation. An official said, "More testing facilities will ensure speedy and timely identification of patients so that they could be isolated to prevent the spread of COVID-19."
The state is increasing the number of sample testing from 300 to 1000 per day by April 10, reported The New Indian Express.
Odisha has also placed orders for the procurement of additional test kits so that it can test at least 50,000 samples in the near future.
Also, the Centre has been asked to increase the supply of high-quality masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which would aid doctors and nurses to contain the outbreak.
The state has been following a phased approach to combat the pandemic.
Subroto Bagchi, the state government's chief spokesperson on COVID-19, said that during Phase-1 the focus was on foreign returnees and later the surveillance was shifted on people coming to Odisha from other states and after the emergence of a positive case having no history of travelling abroad, the authorities are trying to prevent the outbreak moving to Stage 3.
The state has been proactively engaged in implementing measures to curb the outbreak at primary levels. To encourage the people who came back from foreign countries after March 4, to step up and provide details, the government incentivised self-declaration with ₹15,000.
The state government has also launched a dedicated COVID-19 portal for this purpose and a helpline (104).
To efficiently contain the outbreak of coronavirus, seven special COVID-19 hospitals with 1547 beds in Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhubaneswar and Sundargarh have been made functional in the state until now, said a state government press release.
Reportedly, the state government is providng treatment, food, and facilities at these hospitals are being provided free of cost to the patients.
Odisha has also become the first state in the country to make face masks or a two-layered cloth mandatory for the citizens in case they venture outside. The order shall come into effect from 7:00 am on April 9.
In another move, the Jagatsinghpur district administration has directed petrol pump owners to supply fuel only to the vehicles engaged in essential services, barring all private vehicles.
With financial assistance from state mining corporations, arrangements have been made to set up two COVID-19 hospitals with 950 beds in the state capital, Bhubaneswar. Another facility with 700 beds is also being arranged near at Tangi near Cuttack for accommodating suspected coronavirus patients.
The government is planning to set up ICU facilities with 500 beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients, in Ganjam district, which according to media reports witnessed an influx of a large number of migrant workers from other states during the lockdown.
Reportedly, the state government has set up 7,276 temporary medical camps in all the 6,798-gram panchayats with necessary facilities to tackle any emergent situation.
The government has also decided to rope in MBBS final year students to tackle the situation of shortage of medical services. These students will receive adequate training in handling COVID-19 patients.
Earlier the government had also announced advance social pension of four months to beneficiaries. The advance allowance will be paid in March for April, May, June, July and will benefit around 28 lakh beneficiaries, including elderly persons, widows and physically challenged persons.
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