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Plea For NRO Treat


State Government on 6 May appealed its citizens to treat the 35,540 Non-Resident Odias (NROs) well, those so far returned to State.

The Government issued such a statement as many people in the state feel the returnees as “liability” on the state after a section them violated quarantine norms and some tested positive to COVID-19, official said.

“Please do not look down upon the returnees as they return from the highly COVID infected states. Though some of them test positive to the virus, they can be treated properly,” said COVID-19 Chief Spokesperson Subroto Bagchi,

Stating that Odia “brothers and sisters” are returning to state very day since May 3, Mr.Bagchi said 7,451 Odisha people have returned to Odisha on Wednesday. “So far 35,540 Odias have returned to Odisha. Returnees are coming by train/bus and other vehicles,” Mr.Bagchi said during the daily briefing.

“Rather, they (returnees) have more rights on the state’s resources for being in distressed condition due to lock-down. The returnees are no less than any citizen,” he said.

Justifying the State Government’s decision to bring back the Odias stranded in other parts of the country due to lock-down, Mr.Bagchi said that it is duty and responsibility of the administration to ensure that all the people, both those staying in the state and others who live in other places having their roots here, remain healthy,

Keeping in view the possibility of returnees being infected to the novel coronavirus, Mr.Bagchi said they put in mandatory 14-days quarantine.

Besides, the State Government has taken adequate measures to extend treatment to the affected people while protecting those not affected by the virus, he said adding that as a precautionary measure, all the returnees are stamped and kept in either home quarantine or the centres opened at the 6,798 panchayats.

Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj DRK Singh said the state has already set up 12,000 temporary medical centres (TMCs) across the gram panchayats and kept ready at least 5 lakh beds for use of returnees. “The returnees are being served with quality food, separate beds, usable personal kits apart from health treatment,” Mr.Singh said.

Meanwhile, the state has increased food expenditure for migrant labourers kept in relief camps to Rs 120 per adult and Rs 100 per child.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena stated that thousands of migrant labourers kept in the relief camps in the wake of  COVID-19 were provided food at a cost of Rs 60 per adult and Rs 45 per child in a day.


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