Rs 200 crore has been designated to the Public Health Response Fund. (Representational)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said the government has allocated Rs 200 crore to combat the coronavirus threat in the state and announced the closure of educational institutions in the state till March 31 except for holding examinations.
The government also declared COVID-19 as a "disaster", the chief minister said in a statement in the state Assembly here.
"The Cabinet met this morning and declared COVID-19 as a ''disaster'' for the state under the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005 to adequately empower our public officials to combat the spread of the disease," Mr. Patnaik said.
He said an amount of Rs 200 crore has been earmarked to augment the Public Health Response Fund to combat the threat of the pandemic and for making required expenditure.
Non-essential official gatherings such as seminars, workshops and conferences are to be cancelled, the chief minister said.
He also said social gatherings and assemblies like religious functions, marriage receptions and parties are to be regulated by local authorities.
Cinema halls, swimming pools and gyms in the state are to be closed till March 31, Mr. Patnaik said.
He added that the health and family welfare department and its directorates, as well as the collectors and the municipal commissioners have been authorised for making emergency procurement of necessary drugs and consumables and equipment to prevent and contain the spread of the disease.