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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: As many as 2,856 persons who have returned to Odisha from abroad during the last 14 days could not be contacted so far, the State health department informed on Sunday.

“The updated data that has been received indicates that 2,856 persons who have returned from abroad during the last 14 days could not be contacted by District Surveillance teams so far,” Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Principal Secretary to State Health & Family Welfare Department, stated in a letter.

In the letter written on Sunday, Dhal has directed all the district Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to intensify surveillance and contact tracing of people who returned from abroad and coronavirus-affected States.

“These persons could infect others unless home quarantined,” he said, adding “They need to be contacted at the earliest to ensure their home quarantine.”

He requested the officials to focus on surveillance and contact tracing and said the task has to be carried out by Collectors and Municipal Commissioners.

He further said there is need of risk-based testing, isolation of confirmed cases and contact tracing, quarantine of contacts of confirmed cases irrespective of symptoms.

Stop Homebound Labourers At Border: Orissa HC to Govt

Amid growing concern over Coronavirus pandemic, the Orissa High Court on Sunday directed the Odisha government to take immediate measures to check movement of people returning from other states and stop them at the border itself.

“A serious problem is taking place involving movement of labourers and working class and their family from neighbouring states as well as neighbouring districts. There is no system in place to check if any of them is already 'Corona' affected or not,” the HC registry said in a circular.

Keeping this in view and in an attempt to restrict spread of 'Corona', the HC directed the State government to give direction to all bordering district Collectors and Superintendent of Police to make arrangement of stay, food and sanitation including medical check-up of all such persons in the bordering districts itself.

“In case of shortage of space, closed college and school premises having toilets can be used for the purpose. The arrangement can continue at least till lifting of lockdown,” the HC directive added.

Also Read: Coronavirus Lockdown: Odisha Police Sets 500 Helpline Numbers To Redress Grievances Of People

Meanwhile, the Odisha government appointed nodal officers to help mitigate the hardship of migrant workers from Odisha stranded in other States due to complete lockdown in the country for COVID-19.

Deputy Secretary of State Planning & Convergence Department, Dr. Yeddula Vijaya has been named nodal officer for Telangana, B Parameswaran for Andhra Pradesh, Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma for West Bengal, Dr.Jawale Nitin Bhanudas for Gujarat, Rajesh Prabhakar Patil for Maharashtra, Chithra Arumugam for Tamil Nadu, Md. Sadique Alam for Jharkhand, Dr. M. Muthukumar for Kerala, Sanjeeb for Delhi NCR and IGP Amitabh Thakur for all other states.

As part of its efforts to intensify measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus, the State health department informed that it is focusing on three aspects.

  1. Close vigil on those coming to the State from Coronavirus-hit areas while ensuring that they are kept in quarantine.
  2. Isolation of COVID-19 positive persons and identification of those came in contact with the positive persons.
  3. Compulsory quarantine of those who came in contact with Coronavirus affected persons.

The health department has issued direction to all district collectors in this regard and asked the officials to implement it immediately.

Read More: Odisha Plans To Train MBBS Students For Fight Against Coronavirus

The Odisha government has issued helpline numbers, landline no. – 0674 2392115 and WhatsApp No.- 9438915986 for migrant Odia workers stranded in other states of the country.Besides, MLAs Debi Mishra, Arun Sahoo and Atanu Sabhysachi Nayak held discussion with various Odia organisations in different states through a control room set up in the State.

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