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Odisha CM urges people to take a pledge before Goddess Durga, to prevent spread of virus

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 20 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged the people to take a pledge on the occasion of Durga Puja to remain careful till vaccines are available for COVID-19.

Patnaik made this appeal in a special video message to the people of Odisha. 'Let us take a pledge before the Maa to prevent the spread of infection,' he said.

'The character profile of corona is very critical. Let us remain careful till there are medicines/vaccines. One needs to remain more watchful and alert during the Durga Puja and Diwali festivals and also in winter,' Patnaik said, adding that Kerala, though performed very well all along, suddenly witnessed a rise in cases following the Onam festival.

He said that the corona situation in the UK, France, Spain and other European countries improved after reaching the peak, but the highly infectious virus has again reared its ugly head.

While the daily infection number in the UK was 1,200 on September 1, it has now increased to 17,000 on October 18.

Similarly, when the daily case reporting in France on August 31 was 3,000 plus, it further increased to 26,000 on October 10, the chief minister said.

He said that India's position is second in terms of COVID-19 cases after America. The experts opine that the corona is likely to take much critical form during the winter, he said.

'Therefore, I request all not to crowd outside and worship Mother Durga in respective houses. All should wear face masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing,' Patnaik said.

There should be no complacency as the character profile of Corona is 'very critical', Patnaik said, adding that he understands the sacrifice made by people to fight against the pandemic.

He cited the instance of Ganjam and Gajapati districts in Odisha where the coronavirus cases have substantially come down. 'Ganjam was a corona hot spot two months ago. However, the scenario has completely changed now due to peoples cooperation, community participation and hard work of the COVID Warriors,' the chief minister said.

He said the sacrifice made by people in following COVID norms has been largely responsible for successfully combating the coronavirus in the state. Some people, however, deviate and do not adhere to the norms, he said.

The daily case detection has also dipped in Odisha.

While the number of new cases detection was above 4,000 for some time, now the number had fallen to below 2,000.

He called upon people not to relax till the state defeats the virus. PTI AAM RG RG