Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said health workers, pregnant women and those above 60 years of age would get priority in coronavirus vaccine distribution.

Reviewing the Covid-19 situation in the state, Patnaik in a meeting asserted that until a vaccine is developed, wearing a mask remains the most effective barrier against the SARS-COV-2 virus. He urged people to wear masks, observe social distancing and frequently wash hands.

Patnaik said the establishment of a database detailing those suffering from serious ailments would be useful in immunisation of vulnerable sections of the society. He stressed on preparing a targeted, scientific and foolproof plan for how to deal with Covid-19 crisis.

Since the USA, western Europe and Delhi have witnessed a second wave of the pandemic, Patnaik said urged people not to drop their guard during the winters and directed officials to keep ICUs in Covid-19 hospitals in working condition.

“We were able to control the pandemic through our advance planning, creation of a strong infrastructure, capacity building, and productive supervision of the planned activities at various levels. Similarly, there is a need to use our experience in handling the pandemic to prepare ourselves for the immunization,” he added.

Odisha has reported a cumulative 3,10,920 coronavirus positive cases and 1,560 deaths. The state now has 8,818 active cases, while 3,00,474 people have recovered from the disease so far.

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