Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday cautioned people that the government may be forced to reimpose lockdown if COVID-19 guidelines are not followed.
Patnaik said this while reviewing the coronavirus situation of the state and its preparedness for tackling the possible third wave of the pandemic.
“Keeping in view the public interest, the state has relaxed the lockdown norms. But, that does not mean that we will become carefree. If required in the interest of public health, the government may go for lockdown again,” Patnaik said
Highlighting that the rise in coronavirus infections from the USA to Kerala is a matter of concern, Patnaik said, keeping this in mind, people have to be extra careful.
“As the children have not been vaccinated yet, so we have to be careful for them,“ the chief minister said.
Educational institutions would be held accountable if any negligence is observed on their part, Patnaik said.
“ We shall be in danger even if minor negligence is done,” the chief minister said while directing the administration to set up special teams to undertake regular inspections of educational institutions.
The chief minister also asked the administration to keep a close watch on weekly markets, religious institutions, health facilities, and other places where people congregate.
He advised health workers, school-going children, pregnant women, government employees, and police personnel to undergo COVID tests regularly as they belong to high-risk groups.
“Since Delta variant of the COVID-19 is more infectious, the administration should remain vigilant in Micro Containment Zones,” he said.
The district collectors also have been asked to ensure that people of their respective districts take both doses of the vaccine.
Stating that a series of festivals will be held in September and October, Patnaik cited the case of Kerala where COVID-19 cases experienced a rise after the Onam celebration.
“Our responsible behaviour during the festivities will be crucial in controlling the third wave of the pandemic.
“All should understand the gravity of the situation so that we can avoid an unpleasant situation like lockdown and also protect the livelihood of people,” Patnaik said.