Hours after making an appeal to the people returning home from abroad to register themselves with the official COVID-19 portal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday, 18 March, registered his sister Gita Mehta's name on the portal after her return from the US.
Patnaik's elder sister Gita Mehta (77) stays in the USA and usually visits her late father Biju Patnaik's house every year in March. She remained in "home isolation" at the Naveen Niwas, the chief minister's residence near the city airport.
"I have registered my sister's details on the government portal for persons coming from abroad," Patnaik said in a tweet. The chief minister lodged his sister's details in the designated portal within 24 hours of her arrival, an official said.
While making an appeal to other foreign returnees to inform the government about their tour, Patnaik thanked Gajapati Maharaja of Puri and his family members for themselves intimating about their arrival from the US and going into the self- quarantine. The state government has already announced an incentive of Rs 15,000 for registration of foreign returnees and isolating themselves at their homes.
1,239 People Already Registered on Portal
"I appeal to everyone coming from abroad to mandatorily register themselves through the toll-free number 104 or online portal -- covid19.odisha.gov.in -- within 24 hours of arrival in Odisha, to prevent the spread of the disease in the state," Patnaik said in a video message.
Self-disclosure will help the administration in tracking and containing the virus outbreak, he said. As many as 1,239 people have already registered their names with the portal and through helpline number by Tuesday.
Police on Wednesday raided some hotels and guest houses in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for allegedly ignoring the government's advisory and not informing the administration about their guests.
A guest house in Jaydev Vihar in the state capital was sealed, a senior official said. "A group of people from Maharashtra and Delhi had stayed in this guest house, but the owner did not inform the administration. Therefore, we have sealed the facility," he said.
As part of its measures to tackle the spread of the disease, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) ordered that the seven major 'haats' in the state capital will function between 6 am to 6 pm. The state government also issued an advisory to all religious institutions within the state to strictly adhere to the advisories and stress on social distancing.