By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 11, 2022: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday asked people to remain extra vigilant in the next few weeks in view of the fast spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the country.

The next few weeks are very crucial for the state and people should, therefore, be extra careful and vigilant, Patnaik said in a statement after reviewing the Coronavirus situation in the state.

Patnaik asked officials to ensure that people who have not been vaccinated at all or have not taken their second dose should be jabbed as soon as possible.

Noting that the vaccination programme in the state has been satisfactory, the chief minister said as many as 92 per cent of people have already taken the first dose of the vaccine while the rate of second dose inoculation is 68 per cent.

About 30.7 per cent of teenagers in the age group of 15 -18 years have so far been vaccinated.

Patnaik asked the director-general of police to enforce COVID-19 norms strictly and urged people to adhere to the guidelines.

“Even though the hospitalisation rate is still very low in the third wave, we have to be fully prepared for the future,” he said.

Since most of the infected people in the current wave are in home isolation, we need to strengthen the monitoring system and ensure that the Rapid Response Team and field staff keep in touch with them regularly, Patnaik said.

Of the over 20,000 active cases in the state, more than 19,000 patients are in home isolation thus lessening the burden on hospital beds, said director of health service Bijay Mohapatra.

Meanwhile, Odisha recorded 7,071 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a sharp rise of 46 per cent over the previous day’s figure of 4,829 cases and the biggest one-day spike in over seven months, a bulletin issued by the health department said.

Keeping the development in view, the state government has decided to allow only police contingent to participate in Republic Day celebrations this year to discourage large gatherings amid the COVID surge.

In view of the initial signs of a surge in cases of COVID-19, as well as increased detection of the variant of concern, ‘Omicron’, the Government of Odisha has discouraged large gatherings and prescribed other preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease, a government notification said.

There will be no participation of students or NCC cadets and only a limited number of guests, may be invited to the celebration, it said.

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