Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The COVID-19 graph in Odisha on Friday registered a steep rise following detection of 94 new cases of coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours.

On February 21, the State had reported 58 new COVID-19 cases while the daily case load jumped to 68 on February 22. As many as 89 new cases were reported from different parts of the State on Thursday.

Not only Odisha, several other States including Maharashtra, Kerala and Chhattisgarh are witnessing a steep rise in the number of Covid-19 infections for the past few days. The spike in Covid cases has led to apprehension about a possible second wave in Odisha.

The Odisha government on Thursday issued an alert for the regional authorities to keep a tab on the people coming from or through other States which are showing resurgence in cases of Covid-19.

As per the arrangements, the government has asked the authorities to enhance surveillance on passengers disembarking at airports, railway stations coming from or through the States of Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Already the air travellers coming to Odisha from these 12 States are screened for Covid-19 symptoms at Bhubaneswar airport.

Bhubaneswar airport director VV Rao said that on an average nearly 4,000 passengers are coming to Odisha via several flights at the airport here almost on a daily basis.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said that earlier special screening centres were set up at Bhubaneswar airport with focus on travellers coming from 12 States.

“We will set up special screening centres at Bhubaneswar railway station. We have planned three to four screening centres and one centre for conducting on-the-spot Antigen test of those passengers who will be screened for any Covid-19 symptoms,” said Chaudhary.

Chaudhary said that no arrangement has been made for screening of passengers coming to Odisha from other States. Moreover, steps will be taken to set up screening centres at bus terminals if we get necessary instructions from the State government, he added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)