26 March 2020
Bhubaneswar: Odisha has been a frontrunner in setting examples and leading the way for other States in India. There are several instances when the Central Government has taken a cue from Odisha Government's guidelines, policies and programmes and emulated the same at National level.
Today, as the world battles for survival in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, OdishaGovernment and the people of the State have shown resilience and conviction to combat the crisis diligently.
At this stage, when the battle has just begun, it would be premature to evaluate success rates of the States or Centre. However, a close analysis of Odisha's COVID-19 strategy indicates that the state has set an example in effective management of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Well before the Union Government in India decided to lockdown the country, the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha Government had decided to lock districts.
In the first phase five district, nine in the second and the rest 16 districts were LOCKED DOWN in Odisha, before Prime Minister NarendraModi announced the nationwide 21-days lockdown on Tuesday.
Similarly, Odisha CM was the first in India to announce disbursal of advance pensions and ration (under PDS) for the poor eligible beneficiaries.
The number of COVID-19 positive patients in Odisha stands at 2. This is not a figure to boast of at the moment. However, even with 2 COVID-19 positive patients Chief Minister Naveen Patnaiktook stringent decisions and appealed people of the State to stay indoors.
At times when a family faces an eventuality, the head of the family takes tough decisions and urges the members to abide by those. Odisha CM acted promptly in a similar manner. He urged people of the State to adhere to the guidelines and stay at home.
Much before the pandemic began to spread its claws in India, the Odisha Government was quick to start registration of people returning from foreign countries.
The Call Centre and COVID-19 portal of Odisha has acted as a fort in protecting the State so far. People are being rewarded with incentives for quick registrations. Community-involvement and empowering community monitoring initiated by Odisha has acted as a model for the Centre.
Separate teams headed by senior bureaucrats, technical and medical experts are leading from the front. And guiding them all, taking tough decisions, generating consensus among the people of the State, is the Chief Minister of Odisha.
While fighting the crisis, Odisha has sent a silent message to the world: Preparedness, well in advance is key to combating the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
While there is a long way to go, at this stage, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Odisha Government's approach and efforts has been exemplary. The Centre has emulated severalguidelines and strategies from Odisha, in managing the crisis.
In a similar manner, other States can also take a cue from Odisha - Enforce and Regulate to contain the COVID-19 before it explodes.