Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone National Population Register and Census-related activities in wake of the COVID-19 scare.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Modi, Patnaik said: "We are all at present fighting against novel coronavirus (COV1D-19) pandemic. All efforts of state machinery are directed towards containment of COVID-19. As mobilisation for Census and other concerned activities shall pose a great risk for field functionaries and people as well, I would rather suggest to postpone the scheduled Census and related activities in the country."
The first phase of house listing for Census enumeration and updation of the population register was due from 1 April to 30 September 2020.
"I am apprised of the fact that about 30 lakh enumerators and supervisors in the country will be involved in collecting data by visiting each household during the first phase. This has to be preceded by elaborate training, awareness campaign and related activities," Patnaik wrote.
The Chief Minister urged the Central government to review the proposed Census and take an appropriate decision in the interest of people.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in India has now climbed up to 195, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday morning. The deadly virus has claimed four lives in the country so far.
As many as 19 people have been cured of the infection in the country. The disease has claimed over 10,000 lives globally.
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