30 March 2020
Bhubaneswar: The mass exodus forced due to 21-day national lockdown has completely failed the purpose of the lockdown for the containment of COVID-19. Briefing the media persons, Asit Kumar Tripathy the Chief Secretary to the State Government stated.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the State cabinet had okayed a state-wide lockdown and sealed its borders. He had requested the non-residential Odias to stay put where they are and asked the respective States to look after their various needs which would be later refunded. Way before the Centre asking States to take care of migrants, the CM had asked the Narendra Modi-led government on similar lines said the Chief Secretary.
However, with the declaration of the national lockdown, the migrants were forced to leave their place of work/education and move en masse to their homes. While social distancing is essential to break the chain of spreading the coronavirus, mass exodus completely failed the very purpose of lockdown.
15000 migrants mostly from Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Jajpur, and Kendrapada districts are stuck in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Telangana currently. CM Naveen has written to the respective Chief Ministers to take necessary measures in a crisis like this, added Tripathy.