By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 15, 2020: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday asked people to practise social distancing and refrain from spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

“Extraordinary circumstances call for an extraordinary response”, he remarked while appealing the citizens that each one has to be committed as an individual and each family has to act as a responsible unit to protect one other from this pandemic.

Two days back, the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government had declared the disease as a “state disaster” and allocated Rs 200 crore to combat it.

Stressing on collective and responsible action to successfully combat the spread of the disease, Patnaik said personal inconveniences will be faced and families may have to make sacrifices.

Each one should avoid social gatherings and assemblies like religious functions, marriage receptions, the chief minister said. “Being at home, reducing social interactions and avoiding gatherings will cut down vulnerability to a great extent,” he said.

So far, no coronavirus case has been confirmed in the state. “All the 22 swab and blood samples collected from coronavirus suspects till Saturday have tested negative,” an official said.

More than 5000 people have died across the countries following the coronavirus outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared it as pandemic.

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