Children above 2 years should wear masks outside home, says Odisha govt
Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases among children, the Odisha government on Thursday asked parents to ensure that kids above two years wear face masks before stepping out of their houses.The state governments instruction came as per the recommendation of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.In a letter to the Women and Child Development department, the Health and Family Welfare department said that children, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating women may be given suitable advisory for properly wearing face masks while going out of the home.People belonging to any age group including children having any symptom of Covid-19 must go for testing and isolation, the letter said.It stated that in addition to the earlier noted symptoms of coronavirus such as cold, cough, fever, loss of smell or taste, some new indicator of the disease have been found and they are diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain etc.If such symptoms are observed among children, pregnant and lactating women and adolescents, they may be considered as suspected Covid-19 cases, it said.Handwashing with soap and water must be done for at least 40 seconds instead of 20 seconds. Unnecessary touching of face, nose and eyes must be discouraged at all levels in all age groups, the health and family welfare department said.Meanwhile, the police on Thursday appealed to the residents of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to stay away from the morning walk, evening walk and cycling during the lockdown.Commissioner of Police S K Priyadarshi said that according to the Covid lockdown and weekend shutdown guidelines issued by the Odisha government, morning walk, evening walk and cycling are prohibited.Despite the directive, it has been observed that people in the twin city are indulging in such activities, the Commissioner of Police said.The purpose of the lockdown and weekend shutdown is to ensure that people stay indoors so that the disease does not spread further, he said.Priyadarshi said that 22 flying squads have been formed to launch a drive against hoarders and black marketers of essential items.He also cautioned private hospitals in the twin city against overcharging patients in the name of COVID-19 treatment. ADG (Law and Order) YK Jethwa said around one lakh people have been prosecuted in the state in the last 15 days for violating the Covid-19 guidelines. A total of Rs 2.8 crore fine has been collected from the Covid norm violators.While cases have been registered against 71 people, the police arrested 269 people for violation of the Covid norms, Jethwa said.