Bhubaneswar: The Odisha cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of chief minister Naven Patnaik on Wednesday, has taken a slew of decisions which is going to strengthen the band of the State government in its fight against the deadly Coronavirus.

The Epidemic Act, 1897 has been amended by virtue of an amendment. The Odisha COVID-19 Regulations 2020 has been amended to make mask wearing compulsory. And the Contingency Fund has been increased to Rs 2000 crore.

” The Cabinet has approved a ratification proposal in Epidemic Act-1897, through an ordinance. As per the ordinance the amount of punishment has been enhanced in the Act. Every offence shall be considered cognizable and bailable while maximum punishment will be 2 years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs. 10000/- or both.”

” With Cabinet approval of a ratification in Odisha COVID-19: 2020 regulations, wearing masks in public places has become compulsory and fine upto Rs. 500/- shall be imposed for not wearing the mask.”

” Covid-19 pandemic has become biggest challenge, in the interest of public service the corpus of the contingency fund has been increased to Rs. 2000 crore from Rs. 400 crore to meet the urgent and emergent needs for containment management and preventive measures. An ordinance will come into force in this effect as Odisha Legislative Assembly is not in session.”
” A 100 bedded COVID Hospital has started functioning today in the Hostel of Centurion University in Gajapati District, with joint collaboration of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation and Hi-tech Medical College. Along with this no of beds in COVID Hospitals at Cuttack, Jajpur, Keonjhar (Joda), Puri, Rourkela along with 2 hospitals in Bhubaneswar have reached 1597.

” Cabinet has approved a proposal to purchase ICMR recognized COVID-19 Rapid Testing Kit. In this connection 1 Lakh Rapid Testing Kits will be purchased so that more COVID-19 test can be conducted.”

Subroto Bagchi, chief spokesperson of government of Odisha on COVID-19, chief secretary Asit Tripathy and Sanjay Kumar Singh, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Information & Public Relations Department briefed the Press about steps taken by Government of Odisha for prevention of COVID-19.