By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 13, 2020: Odisha government, on Friday, declared coronavirus a ‘disaster’ under the provision of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The cabinet chaired by chief minister, Naveen Patnaik on Friday morning declared, the Covid-19 pandemic and shut down all educational institutions barring those conducting examination.

The state cabinet has also sanctioned Rs 200 crore to combat the coronavirus. The decision has been taken in order to empower public officials to deal with the situation.

“The State Cabinet met this morning and declared COVID19 as a ‘disaster’ for the state under the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to adequately empower our public officials to combat the spread of COVID-19,” CM Naveen Patnaik said.

The Budget Session of the state Assembly also was adjourned until March 29. Swimming pools and movie halls also will remain closed while seminars and workshops stand cancelled until then too.

The world was on a learning curve, said Patnaik. “Each one of us has a responsibility to ourselves, to our families and to the communities we live in. The only effective measure so has been social distancing. All of us should practice social distancing ruthlessly,” he added.

Officials of the health and family welfare departments, collectors and municipal commissioners are authorised to make emergency procurements of drugs, consumables and equipment necessary to contain the spread of the virus.

There will be restrictions on large assemblies, whether social – a marriage or a religious function, or official conferences, and the public has been encouraged to cooperate.

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