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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: With mutant strains of Covid-19 circulating in India and new confirmed cases on an upsurge in many states, the Bhubaneswar Civic body has decided to open a testing centre at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) by Wednesday evening.

"It has been decided in a meeting on Tuesday that a testing centre will be operational at the BPIA by this (Wednesday) evening. Mandatory thermal screening for all passengers will be conducted upon arrival at the airport. The symptomatic passengers will be subjected to tests immediately," said Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation  (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary.

"The situation in Odisha is not alarming yet as there has not been a spike in the number of positive cases in the State since last one month. But we are alert and keeping a strict watch on the situation," said Chaudhary adding that all the testing centres and Covid-19 hospitals across the State are in function as earlier.

Meanwhile the BMC has also decided to implement the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour in the city limits with all strictness.

Issuing a fresh advisory on February 22, the BMC had directed the authorities to ensure the implementation of the Covid-19 safety protocols stringently.

Police authorities had been advised to ensure strict observance of Covid-19 safety protocols such as mandatory wearing of masks, maintaining physical distancing in public places, including workplaces and educational institutions. The BMC has also formed five special enforcement squads to detect violation and ensure compliance of the safety norms.

An awareness drive has also been launched. Announcements to follow the Covid-19 safety norms were made through loudspeakers at all market places in the city limits. The social media has also been used to raise awareness among the general mass.

School and Mass Education Minister Sameer Dash on Tuesday said that the government is keeping a close watch on the resurgence of the mutant strains in some states in the country before arriving at a decision to open classes from Std 1 to VIII in schools across the State.

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