The coming few days will be crucial for Odisha as several people stranded in other states due to COVID-19 lockdown will return to their native state, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday. He appealed to the residents of Odisha to take care of returnees and cooperate with the government in its battle against the pandemic.
A large number of people will return to Odisha from states which have recorded high coronavirus positive cases, such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and West Bengal. Patnaik said that Odisha is the motherland to all those stranded across the country, and hence the residents must take care of them.
Noting that COVID-19 cases may rise in the state after their return, the Chief Minister said, the situation can be brought under control if people cooperate with the state government. He asked the stranded citizens to stay alert, be patient, and opt for registration so that the Odisha government can provide them with quarantine facilities.
Addressing the citizens through a video message, Naveen Patnaik said that even slight carelessness can cause a great loss to the government’s efforts in containing the virus. If 10 percent of people commit mistakes, problems can grow 100 times, he added.
After the Nizamuddin Markaz incident, another biggest challenge for Odisha is the people returning from West Bengal. This is because, out of the total 122 positive cases in Odisha, 50 patients had returned from West Bengal.
CM Patnaik said that earlier, people having foreign travel history were the biggest challenge for the state. Odisha was the first state to start registration of foreign returnees and the situation was brought under control, he added.
The second challenge posed before the state was the people who returned from Nizamuddin Markaz, yet the government successfully tackled the situation. The Chief Minister said that Odisha is bracing itself to face the third challenge, which is the return of people from West Bengal.