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Covid19 Upsurge: Odisha Mandates RT-PCR Test For People Coming From Other States

Bhubaneswar: Further tightening the curbs to stem the spread of novel-Coronavirus, the Odisha government on Thursday made RT-PCR test mandatory for people coming to the State from other states.

Those visitors who will opt out of the RT-PCR Covid-19 test will have to stay in quarantine for a week, informed Stat Health Minister Naba Kishore Das.

“RT-PCR test is must for those coming to the State from other states. Those not undergoing test will have to stay in quarantine for seven days,” Das said.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Das said, “We have taken this decision because that is the only way (to curb spread of Covid-19). Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, sensitisation and vaccination are the only ways. There is no other way around to fight the virus.”

Das clarified that the test is mandatory even for those coming from neighbouring West Bengal.

Speaking about the vaccination drive, the Health Minister said he has written to the Union Health Minister to supply 25 lakh doses of vaccine as presently the State needs 2.5 lakh doses of vaccines per day to smoothly carry out the inoculation drive.

“I have requested the Union Health Minister to provide us at least 25 lakh doses of vaccine to plan the drive for 10 days. Earlier, health department ACS had also written to the Centre in this regard. However, till today morning we have not received vaccine.”

“If the vaccine doses do not reach the State by today evening or tomorrow morning, we will be forced to suspend the vaccination drive,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BJP launched a veiled attack at the State government over its claim of vaccine scarcity and accused the government of doing cheap politics over the vaccination.

“State governments who had earlier not implemented the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana fearing that PM Narendra Modi will take all the credits are now not letting the vaccination drive become a success. Those who are claiming that there is dearth of vaccine are doing cheap politics. I appeal all not to become desperate, because there is sufficient vaccine in the country and all will be vaccinated. This is the commitment of PM Modi,” said BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar.

On the other hand, Congress claimed that both Odisha government and Centre are doing politics over the vaccine.

“The State government claims that there is shortage of vaccine while Centre says there is sufficient stock. It implies that both are doing politics over the Covid-19 vaccine,” PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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