Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik thanked himself while delivering his thanks giving speech on the governor’s address.

Patnik patted his back for the apt handling of the Covid situation in the State during the last 11 months. He said his government was the first State in the country to declare the situation as disaster before a single case reported.

“We went for preventive and targeted Lockdown, much before the National Lockdown. We ensured strict enforcement of the Covid Health protocols across the State. To a large extent this helped us in slowing down the spread of the virus.”

“We were the first State to set up large scale dedicated Covid Hospitals across the State. These hospitals along with Covid Care Centres and Temporary Medical Camps provided health care to thousands of patients within a short period of time. These hospitals and ambulance services ensured that there was no panic in the State in spite of the rapidly rising numbers during August-September 2020 period.”

The chief minister said the hall mark of Covid management has been that from testing to treatment, it was free for all. This helped in early detection, isolation and treatment of the Covid positive cases. This is the primary reason for the low mortality rate in the State compared to other States. The Community involvement from the beginning has also contributed significantly in the awareness campaigns and local level Covid management. Odisha has been praised as a model even by WHO and other reputed institutions for effectively tackling the pandemic.

“From a situation of uncertainty and social stigma, we have reached a stage of vaccination and return to normal daily life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PRI members, Mission Shakti groups administration, health staff, Police, etc. for their relentless work over a long period. We should always remember the sacrifice of many Covid warriors who have lost their lives in fighting this virus. Our Government will continue to support the families of these warriors. We still have a long way to go before declaring the end of this war. With spiking of covid cases in Maharastra and other parts of the country, I appeal to the people to strictly follow wearing of masks, social distancing and other covid guidelines.”

Patnaik said, “We managed in an efficient and sensitive manner the return of lakhs of migrant Odias, who wanted to come back to their homes in these times of crisis. Probably we were the only State with such a huge number of quarantine centers till the village level. The Sarpanchs, PRI members, Mission Shakti groups, field level workers like ASHA workers have played a very crucial role in the successful management of this Covid crisis across the State.”

Dwelling on the State economy, the chief minister said the State economy has been able to rebound with a revenue increase of 7.3% despite the pandemic. “We are in a much better fiscal position compared to many states in the country”, he added.

According to him, notwithstanding the Covid situation Odisha has emerged as leading investment destination with over Rs 1.2 lakh crores investment in the last one year. We are also recognized as a Top Performer in the Start up ranking. We will be building further on these achievements in the coming years.