The Odisha government on Wednesday announced that COVID Care Homes (CCHs) and Ward Level Committees will be set up across the state to monitor the coronavirus situation.
The announcement was made by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
"We have decided to set up COVID Care Home facilities in all the 6,798 gram panchayats across the state. About 10 to 20 people can stay in each home," Patnaik said in a statement.
As many as 70,000 people could be accommodated in CCHs in rural areas, the chief minister said.
He said that the people showing coronavirus symptoms like cold, cough and fever will be kept in the facility. If the patient tests positive for COVID-19 then only he/she will be shifted to the special COVID Hospitals.
The chief minister said Odisha has enough special COVID Hospitals where about 10,000 beds are available with ICU facilities for critical patients. The state also has trained manpower to handle the COVID patients and there is sufficient medical equipment to deal with the situation, he said.
"If the corona test result comes negative, a person will go back home and get treatment at house," Patnaik said, adding that the government has also decided to decentralize the COVID-19 management system in the state.
"Covid management committee in the ward level will be formed comprising ward members, ANM, ASHA and Women Self Help Group members. The committee will be given special power under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897," Patnaik said.
He said the ward level committees will be provided Rs 10,000 each for expenditure. At present, the Gaon Kalyan Samiti (Village welfare committees) take care of the COVID management in villages.
In urban areas, ward offices, local volunteers will be members of the COVID management committee which will monitor the corona situation in towns. "The urban committee is asked to focus on slums and if required COVID Care Homes can be set up in major slums," he said.
Following the return of above five lakh people to the state during the pandemic, Patnaik said the state government has decided a door-to-door survey to detect the COVID symptoms among the population. These people are being quarantined in the temporary medical centres before being allowed to go home.
The state government has set up 16,815 Temporary Medical Centres/Camps in 67,98 gram panchayats. In all these centres, a total of 7,62,345 beds have been arranged to provide COVID-19 health services in rural areas.
However, Patnaik said that many TMCs are now closed as the number of returnees are declining by the day. The TMCs presently operate in clusters where the returnees are being put in quarantine where their treatment and care is being taken by the sarpanchs, who have worked all along the three months with dedication.
"I thank the panchayat level functionaries for their dedicated service for which the corona situation in Odisha is better than many states, Our recovery rate is high and the fatality rate low. Therefore, Odishas situation is in a good position," the chief minister said.
The Corona situation has impacted lives all sections, all categories and all people, Patnaik said, adding that the only alternative left is precaution and awareness since there is no such medicine or vaccines for the killer disease.
"I have been repeatedly saying that June is a crucial month for the state because many people have returned to the state and movement has started in the unlock process. Gradually, many things will open up and possibilities of transmission can be reduced by maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and using face masks," he said.
Therefore, under the changed circumstances, the state needs to change its strategy for which CCHs and COVID Management Committees are formed in the ward level to keep a proper tab on the situation.
Patnaik also suggested the people keep special care of the elderly persons and kids below 10 years of age as they have low immunity power.