Bhubaneswar, Apr 9: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today thanked people of Odisha for all the support and cooperation each one of you has been extending in this serious crisis situation.
Patnaik address people of Odisha on coronavirus disease (COVID-19):
I know it involves a lot of sacrifice, hardship and uncertainty but this is the only way to face this crisis. From March 15 when we had the first case, till today at 42 cases your discipline and sacrifice has helped the state.
In the same period, US-a Superpower, has moved from 3,000 to 4 lakh cases. The United States has lost more people to Covid 19 than all the wars and 9/11 attack put together. They have still not locked down the country as a whole.
At this crucial juncture one has to decide between protecting lives of people and economic activity.
The State Cabinet which met today decided that saving the lives of our people is the top most priority at this juncture.
Accordingly we have decided to extend the lock down till April 30th, we will recommend to Government of India to extend the national lockdown up to April 30.
In addition to this we will also request the Union Government not to start Airline and Railway services till April 30.
As regards people from Orissa who are stranded in various parts of the country, our intervention for their well-being will be through the concerned State Governments. Odisha will take care of all the people who are stranded in Odisha.
Activities related to agriculture, animal husbandry and MGNREGS will be facilitated during the lockdown period following social distancing norms.
In a larger context food security of the people is a major priority of the state.
As has been stated earlier, there will not be any problem in transport of goods .We are leaving no stone unturned in scaling up COVID testing and treatment facilities.
We propose to do one Lakh rapid testing in the State at the earliest possible time.
We would like to thank doctors from all over the country who have volunteered to offer their services in telemedicine.
As regards educational institutions they will remain closed till June 17.
Coronavirus is the biggest threat that the human race has faced in more than a century.
Life will not be the same ever.
All of us must understand this and face it boldly together.
With our sacrifice and with the blessings of the Lord Jagannath this too shall pass.