Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said his government will make available to the people the best possible treatment, available anywhere in the world, free of cost to cure them of COVID-19.
Patnaik gave this assurance to the state legislators while addressing them in a video conference workshop on sensitisation of MLAs on COVID-19.
The workshop was attended, among others, by assembly Speaker S N Patroi, Leader of Opposition P K Naik and Congress Legislature Party leader N Mishra.
“When hospitals in many states charge lakhs of rupees for coronavirus treatment, Odisha government has been providing everything free of cost, he said.
Whatever best treatment is available in any part of the world, Odisha will implement the same and make it accessible to our people free of cost,” he said.
He told the state lawmakers that his government will put every resource at its command to save people’s lives in the pandemic.
He told them that everything from travel to quarantine to testing, tracing, treatment, food and accommodation have been provided free of cost in Odisha.
The eastern state is witnessing a rapid spread of infection. As per the latest report, COVID-19 tally in the state has gone past 29,000, while the death toll has risen to 159
“I assure all the honourable members that the state will put every resource at its command to fight this pandemic and save people’s lives. Funds will never be a constraint when it involves protecting our people,” Patnaik said.
While describing the frontline workers dealing with coronavirus patients and suspected cases as “COVID Warriors,” Patnaik said, “Let me as the leader of the House humbly say that the dedication and sacrifice of our COVID warriors is an inspiration for entire Odisha.
“I see a Gopabandhu Das, a Madhu Babu, a Maa Rama Devi, a Parvati Giri (iconic personalities of the state) in each one of your sacrifices.”
The chief minister said he has been talking personally to some of the COVID warriors and appealed to the people of Odisha to respect them, to treat them with dignity and co-operate with them wholeheartedly.
Patnaik said it is not an easy task to work continuously in an environment of uncertainty for 150 days, but the Odisha COVID warriors are doing so despite risking their lives and those of their family members.
“I can proudly say that my Odia brothers & sisters as COVID warriors are not just doing work for salary but working for a mission to save every Odia people,” he said.
Recalling his March 13 statement, Patnaiik reiterated that very few times in the history of the world have human beings as a race faced challenges beyond their comprehension.
On the corona situation in the state, the chief minister told MLAs that Odisha has been boldly facing this challenge.
“I would like to present a deep sense of gratitude to all COVID warriors who have been in the frontline fighting the invisible enemy. It is because of their hard work, dedication and sacrifice that more than 18,000 people have been cured and Odisha has saved more people than most other states of the country,” he said.
He said the state government has started plasma therapy with encouraging results. This pandemic has had a huge economic impact globally, nationally and locally, he added.
“Through a series of livelihood interventions and industrial sector initiatives, our state is trying to kickstart the economy. I am hopeful that our efforts will bear fruit,” he said.
Optimistic of Odisha bouncing back to normalcy, Patnaik said, “I am sure, the Odisha that will evolve post-pandemic will be much stronger and prosperous.”
He appealed to all MLAs to take personal care of them and provide inspiring leadership in their constituencies.
“Please take care of the COVID warriors in your areas, encourage plasma donation and educate people at large to follow social distancing, wear masks and practice handwashing,” Patnaik said.
While Leader of Opposition P K Naik of BJP stressed on a combined effort to fight against COVID-19, CLP leader N Mishra suggested the state government to set up a House Committee on coronavirus.
The video conference observed one-minute silence as a mark of respect to the COVID warriors who died in the line of duty.