Bhubaneswar, Sept 30 (LocalWire): The World Health Organization has praised the efforts of Odisha in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently.
Praising Odisha’s past track record of efficiently handling natural disasters, the WHO particularly mentioned the efforts of the government in evacuating stranded people to safety during the Cyclone Amphan while adhering to the social distancing measures imposed by the pandemic.
Praising the early initiatives taken by the state such as capacity-building of district level health officials for preparedness and response activities, public awareness campaigns on handwashing and respiratory etiquette, setting up of empowered group of ministers for quick decision making and thus developing a synchronized effort towards the prevention of the outbreak helped the state immensely, it said.
The state was the first to set up one of the country’s biggest 1000-bedded dedicated COVID hospital within a record time of one week.
30 dedicated district COVID hospitals have been set up in each district since, out of which 17 hospitals are functioning in tripartite agreement with the government, private hospitals and financial corporations.
The WHO has particularly praised these hospitals, saying that they have successfully helped in managing resources.
Health facilities were independently assessed by WHO and UN teams, and best performing hospitals like Ashwini Hospital, Cuttack were recognized for their state-of-the-art quality of care.
It also praised the testing strategy, informing that capacity had been increased from one initial lab to 19 labs now, with 4,01,644 samples having been tested by July 21.
Praising the leveraging of technology by the state in its battle against COVID-19, the WHO commended setting of the state COVID dashboard, Sachetak mobile applications for tracing of cases, issuance of e-pass services and identification of containment zones through a geographic information system (GIS).
The decentralised approach involving empowering of Gram Panchayats, Sarpanches and district administrations to curb the spread was also praised by the health body.
The involvement of Self-Help Groups through Mission Shakti, from awareness campaigns led by UNICEF trained women to supply of essential commodities to the poor, from manufacturing of 1 million masks in a record time to helping improve the livelihood of women, is said to have greatly boosted morale in the fight while ensuring good use of resources.
The way forward is the need to sustain the efforts while collaborating with local leadership and self-help groups in order to continue the fight, it said.