Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Health and Family Welfare department secretary Nikunja Dhal on Sunday appealed to the people of the State not to panic in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak across the globe while informing that a modern testing facility for diagnosis of the deadly viral infection has been opened at the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) here.

Addressing a press conference today, Dhal said that while the State was earlier dependent on laboratories at Pune and Kolkata for tests of samples from Coronavirus suspects, now such cases can be diagnosed at the RMRC Bhubaneswar.

“RMRC can now test 14 to 20 samples of Coronavirus suspects per day. So far 14 samples have been tested at the testing facility. Even private hospitals can send samples to RMRC for testing,” the health secretary said.

“If needed, additional testing facility will be created at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack,” he added.

According to sources, the samples of an Irish national suspected to be infected with Coronavirus and his associate from the State were collected at the Capital Hospital and sent for laboratory test at RMRC. Both the samples have been tested negative for Coronavirus.

Speaking about the measures being taken in the State to deal with the deadly virus, the health secretary said passengers coming by all international flights in India are being screened at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here. Similarly, as many as 131 people have been kept under observation in the State. However, all the samples collected from them have been tested negative for Coronavirus.

He further said that healthy persons are not required to wear face masks. Basic things like frequent washing of hands, not touching of eyes, ears and nose are the simple things which need to be practiced. If anyone develops any symptoms, he/she should use masks.