Odisha allots ₹790 cr to combat COVID-19 third wave

Collectors told to roll out Emergency COVID-19 Response Plan- Phase II.

The Odisha government has approved a fund of ₹790 crore as part of preparedness to face a possible third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which could see 1.5 times the number of cases recorded during the peak of the second surge.

Alerting district collectors about the third wave that might persist for 75 days, the State government directed them to implement the Emergency COVID-19 Response Plan (ECRP) – Phase II.

Odisha experienced the second wave between April 1 to June 15 this year during which 5,21,750 people tested positive for coronavirus. While average number of cases per day was 6,865, the State recorded 12,852, the highest number on a single day, on May 22.

Peak projections

Now, the model of projection says the highest number of cases in a day during this wave could be 19,278 whereas average per day cases could touch 10,217. A total 7,66,275 persons could be infected. Close to 1 lakh children might contract the disease.

Collectors have informed about setting up RT-PCR laboratories and procurement of COVID-19 essential diagnostics and drugs. Establishment of dedicated paediatric care units with 20 to 30 bedded oxygen supported wards and 12 bedded hybrid intensive care units have been approved.

Establishment of 50-bed field hospitals at selected government-run hospitals and augmentation of ambulances for augmenting capacity of referral transportation services have been emphasized.

Additional human resources such as post-graduate medical residents, medical undergradate interns, final year medical students and final year nursing students may be required to deal with the situation.

“These activities need to be implemented on time bound manner, which will not only facilitate COVID-19 response but also strengthen public health facilities to cater to any similar outbreaks in future,” said Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) in the letter.

The State on Thursday reported 849 new cases of which 130 (15.31%) were found to be in the age group of 0-18.

Vaccinating teachers

Meanwhile, the State Health and Family Welfare Department has asked district collectors to start a special campaign to vaccinate teachers and their families before September 5.

“We have successfully administered 2.07 crore doses in the State, of which 1.58 crore as first dose and 49 lakh as second dose. About 14.5 lakh beneficiaries are already due for second dose vaccination, but yet to be vaccinated,” Mr. Mohapatra informed..

He said, “the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to allocate 9,92,380 doses of Covishield and 1,24,590 doses of Covaxin as additional quantity for the month of August, 2021 for special campaigns to vaccinate all 2nd dose due beneficiaries and vaccination of teachers (both government and private) as well as their family members.”

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