A report by PGurus states how the Centre and state coordinated to ensure that the testing kits for coronavirus stuck in Mumbai reached Odisha in record time.
The midnight phone call
It was little after midnight when Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When Patnaik emphasised the need for the test kits to be delivered before the morning of the following day, PM Narendra Modi asked, “Do you mean within the next 6 hours?” The Odisha Chief Minister requested temporarily re-opening one of the prime airports in Maharashtra such as Pune, Nashik, or Mumbai airport, and use an Air Force flight to deliver the Coronavirus test kits to Bhubaneswar.
PMO swings into action
Following the midnight phone conversation, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) swung into action. After multiple phone calls, the official orders were typed and faxed to concerned officials. In an unprecedented move, Nashik airport was reopened temporarily and an Air Force flight airlifted the test kits to the capital of Odisha.
In the wee hours of the morning, Government vehicles in Odisha transported the test kits to different destinations. Thus, the concerns of an enthusiastic Chief Minister was put to rest. PMO has also been working tirelessly to provide resources to the States to fight the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus in Odisha
As per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, Odisha has recorded 157 total positive cases as of 3rd May 2020. Of these, 56 have recovered while 1 has passed away. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier announced Rs 2,200 crore package for the poor to fight coronavirus. The Chandan Yatra of the Jagannath temple in Puri was held without the devotees last week amid coronavirus lockdown. There is also uncertainty over the Rath Yatra, which has been going on continuously for centuries.