Bhubaneswar: March 15 is a red letter day for Odisha as the state reported its first COVID-19 patient on this day in 2020.
The state’s first COVID-19 patient is a young researcher named Debasis Srichandan.
The incidents till he tested positive for COVID-19
Debasis arrived at Delhi Airport from Italy, March 6. He was quarantined there at the airport. As no symptoms of COVID-19 were found following a few health screenings, he was allowed to travel home. He reached Bhubaneswar by train, March 12.
But by March 13, symptoms of COVID-19 started surfacing. When he did not recover from the illness even after taking medicines, he went to Capital Hospital for a check-up, March 14.
His blood and swab samples were collected and sent to Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) here for test.
On the night of March 15, Debasis tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The State Government’s preparation for the pandemic
The State government had taken preventive measures well before the detection of the first COVID-19 case. A control room was opened in January, 2020 itself. The district level health workers were given training March 10 and 11. Around 33,000 COVID warriors including doctors, health workers, panchayat members etc joined in the war against the invisible enemy.
The State government had declared the pandemic as a ‘State Disaster’, March 13.
After detection of the first COVID-19 patient, the war against the virus was intensified. Several coordinating committees were constituted, March 17 before the State government announced a lockdown in the state March 21.
Odisha was the first state to impose a lockdown to contain the coronavirus infection.
Effective COVID management and decision taking were the two important tools that played vital roles in the fight against the pandemic.
The government had signed an MoU for setting up of COVID-19 hospitals. As many as 53 such hospitals were set up on a PPP mode.
Before bringing back Odia migrants stuck in different states, quarantine centres were opened at schools and the sarpanchs were bestowed with Collector’s powers so that they could take decision to declare places as Containment Zones.
According to information available, 7,60,000 returnees were kept at 16,824 temporary medical centres (TMCs).
The government had taken steps to set up a plasma bank from July 15. The government had also started chalking out strategies for hotspot districts from July 15.
As of now, Odisha has so far reported 3,38,258 positive COVID-19 cases (till March 15, 2021). Of them, 3,35,660 have already recovered from the disease while active cases stand at 627. The disease has so far claimed 1,918 lives in the state.