Staff Writer@Blink

Bhubaneswar, June 3: One of the few government sources available now to get information on COVID in Odisha suffered a jolt on Wednesday as the State Health Department website crashed and denied access to the public.

Several media professionals, TV channels and other information seekers were baffled to get information on the latest status of the state on COVID 19. However most of them were disappointed with the website as it became unresponsive both on desktop and through mobile phones.

Several of the users complained that the website was not accessible since June 2. Some of the journalists and others also tweeted this online and brought to notice of the concerned departments but there was no response from the government yet.

This comes after the government stopped conducting daily press conferences on briefing the people on COVID 19. Earlier the government used to do a virtual press conference almost daily by evading the direct questions of the media. Later the Information and Public Relations department which was monitoring the whole events closed it completely to add to the woes.

With the absence of counter-questioning mechanism from the media, several of these bureaucrats have now become opaque to questioning and are depriving the fourth pillar of democracy of seeking more questions on the management of COVID 19 in the state.

With the halting of even access to the website, many people are flummoxed with the absence of information. Several media persons told The Blink that most of the secretaries of the concerned departments like-Health Department, Information and Public Relations Department and even Subroto Bagchi, the Chief Spokesperson of the government on COVID 19 are not responsive to media queries on reached out to them.

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