Bhubaneswar: Interacting with senior officers appointed as COVID-19 observers in different districts, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday directed them to scale up testing facility so that over 10,000 samples can be tested each day. The state government has appointed 22 senior IAS officers as observers to review preparedness in all districts for migrants intending to return to the state after the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Naveen has directed that all Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved labs and testing facilities should be utilised to increase testing capacity of about 10,000 to 15,000 per day. “So that, when migrant workers and people from outside arrive, we can have adequate testing facility,” he told officers.
Families of all eligible migrant workers returning to the state who do not have ration cards will be covered under Public Distribution System (PDS). “Irrespective of ration card status, no one should be deprived of food,” he said.
COVID observers have been asked to specifically monitor quarantine facilities at the GP level on a priority basis. Naveen stressed advance planning and asked them to ensure adequate facilities at gram panchayats to accommodate returnees.
Panchayati raj and drinking water department officials have been asked to make strategy to double MGNREGA man-days. The officials were told to make the rural job scheme target-oriented and double the man-days to 10 lakh daily in next one week from the current 5 lakh man-days per day.
The housing and urban development department was directed to complete the distribution of vendor assistance in one week.
The forest department was asked to immediately initiate labour intensive work. The Chief Minister has also asked officials to begin labour-based work and protect the livelihood of kendu leaf pluckers and binders.
Earlier, Chief Minister had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for all Covid warriors, including doctors, health workers, ASHA, Anganwadi workers, police and all those involved in management of COVID-19.