The Odisha government will be providing free ration to 94 lakh families for three months in the view of the Coronavirus crisis. According to reports, all those families who are covered under the national and state food security schemes will be provided with free ration from April to June. Further, the free ration will be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (MPGKY) in addition to the monthly quota supplied to the people under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and State Food Security Scheme (SFSS).
According to the Joint Secretary of Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Department, MQ Haque, the beneficiaries are entitled to get 5 kg of rice per person per month and 1 kg of milled arhar dal per family per month. Further, the State Food Supply and Consumer Welfare (SFSCW) department has issued an order for all the Collectors to distribute the food supplies. Reportedly, free food grains will benefit 3,28,49,327 people of a total of 94,01,563 families in the state.
Currently, there are 54 positive cases of Coronavirus in Odisha, out of which 12 people have been reportedly recovered, while one person has died.
Meanwhile, Odisha on Thursday, April 10 became the first state in the country to extend the lockdown till April 30 in view of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. The state government has also decided to close all schools and educational institutions till June 17. Along with it, the Odisha government has also requesting the Centre to keep the airlines and railway services shut till April 30.
According to the latest update of the Union Health Ministry, about 8,447 cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported in the country including 7,409 active cases. While 273 deaths have been reported overall, around 765 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. Currently, the highest number of cases have been reported from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of deadly coronavirus, stating that "social distancing" is the only way to contain the disease which is spreading rapidly across the world. As India's total case count crossed the 8,000 mark, the Centre is considering a two-week extension of the lockdown currently in effect across the country.
Meanwhile, PM Modi held a video conference with the states' Chief Ministers to discuss the situation and get their feedback on whether the 21-day shutdown should be extended. Following the meeting, Telangana, Maharashtra and West Bengal became the latest states to extend the lockdown period, after similar moves by Odisha and Punjab earlier this week.
(With ANI Inputs)