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Ramakanta Biswas

Ganjam: Even as Ganjam district in the State begins to witness an explosion of Covid cases following surge in influx of migrants from other States, many migrants who have been placed under quarantine after returning are reportedly violating the quarantine rules by slipping out of the centres at night to join their families.

The revelation was made by Odisha Assembly speaker Surjya Narayan Patro after reviewing COVID19 situation in the district with Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange and other elected representatives through video conferencing today.

He urged the family members of the migrants to convince them to obey the guidelines laid down by the State government and stay at the quarantine centres till the completion of the period.

"The administration should ensure that those placed under quarantine must obey the rules of the government. Because there are reports that many migrants are slipping out of the quarantine centres at night. The family members of the migrants should talk to them over phone and convince them not to breach the quarantine protocols," Patro told reporters after the meeting.

"Similarly, all the residents in the district must adopt safety measures like wearing mask, washing hands and maintaining social distancing," he added.

During the meeting, Patro reviewed the measures taken by the district administration to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. The Speaker expressed concern that now the SARS-nCoV threat is looming large on rural areas than urban areas in the State.

The district administration apprised the Speaker that about 40,000 migrants are currently under quarantine at 2,983 centres set up in schools and other buildings in the district. Section 144 has been imposed in and around all the quarantine centres. Besides, close vigil is kept to ensure that the migrants do not escape from the centres.

The district authorities further stated that while the quarantine centres are presently set up in villages, plans are underway to shift the camps to large public buildings outside the villages. At present, the district has one 200-bedded exclusive COVID hospital and proposal has been made to set up another such facility in the district.

At present, the COVID19 count in Ganjam district stands at 118.

Meanwhile, Union MoS for MSME, Pratap Sarangi has sought round-the-clock security at the COVID-19 quarantine centres to prevent inmates from fleeing and infecting others.

"Some migrants, who were kept in schools in Ganjam after returning from Surat, reportedly fled the quarantine centres on May 3. This "exposed the gaps" in the state government's management plan," Sarangi said in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Union Minister has urged the chief minister to ensure foolproof security at the centres by formally engaging at least three persons in each quarantine centre.



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