Coronavirus: Nothing to Panic, Says Odisha Health Secy

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Health & Family Welfare Secretary Nikunja Bihari Dhal today told people that there is nothing to panic over the novel coronavirus.

“The main thing is there is nothing to panic,” informed Dhal addressing a presser here today on the State’s preparedness over coronavirus.

He said that screening of passengers has already begun at the Bhubaneswar airport since yesterday with the screening of passengers arriving from Malaysia.

“We have made arrangements for isolation and treatment at four hospitals till now apart from AIIMS Bhubaneswar which has these facilities. I have contacted Director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar in this connection,” Dhal revealed.

He informed that the four hospitals where arrangements have been made are SCB Medical College & Hospital, VIMSAR Burla, Capital Hospital, and District Headquarters Hospital Jharsuguda and added that the authorities of Paradip Port have been alerted.

“Collector Jagatsinghpur and CDMO of the district will be visiting Paradip Port today to check the preventive arrangements made there. Tomorrow we have called a meeting of all Medical Superintendents of the district headquarters hospitals to discuss on how isolation can be done and how we can handle in the event of a case being detected,” the Health Secretary said.

“Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) material has been prepared and launched since yesterday which is there on our Twitter handle and our Facebook page, a control room has been opened with helpline numbers,” he informed.

Dhal further informed that the department is fully prepared to take care of any contingency that may arise.

“At the same time, people have to maintain absolute cool. We are particularly careful that there have been three confirmed cases from Malaysia and we have a direct flight connection between Bhubaneswar Kuala Lumpur, so we have already started screening passengers coming by that flight since yesterday. On our request Ministry of Health, Government of India has agreed to notify Bhubaneswar airport as a screening airport,” he added.

Explaining on the novel coronavirus, the Health Secretary said,” I would like to say that this is relatively big virus so the advantage is that when a virus is relatively big in size it cannot remain suspended in air for long and it will fall to the ground and then it won’t also travel a long distance in air, it cannot really infect more people”. 

Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Dept


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