Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar saw the surge in Covid-19 pandemic push passenger traffic down by an unprecedented 50 per cent compared to last week.

Sources said while around 12,000 passengers travelled from BPIA last week, the numbers have come down to 7,000-8,000 in the current week in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Odisha.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has directed the airport authorities to conduct random RT-PCR tests of passengers arriving at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in the Capital city.

“All the necessary Covid-19 guidelines are strictly in place at the airport. As per the direction of BMC, the concerned officials are carrying out random RT-PCR tests of passengers who are not in possession of an RT-PCR report conducted 72 hours prior to the boarding of the flight,” said BPIA Director Pravat Ranjan Beuria.

“The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening shall be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility of the BMC. De-boarding is being done ensuring physical distancing,” added Beuria.

As per reports, travellers whose destination is Bhubaneswar, will be required to isolate at home following the RT-PCR test till the result is communicated to them by BMC. Those found positive will be required to follow usual Covid protocols of the State.

Notably, Odisha on Saturday witnessed a massive jump in the Covid-19 tally so far in 2022 after 3,679 new cases were reported from different parts of the State in the past 24 hours. Of the total cases, 384 cases are in the age group of 0-18 years.