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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) is fully prepared to tackle any untoward situation emerging out of possible spread of the new COVID-19 strain which has originated from the UK, BPIA Executive Director, Goutam Ray said on Wednesday.

Speaking about the cautionary steps and counter measures taken at the airport, Ray said, "We have made COVID test mandatory for elderly passengers of 55 yrs and above with co-morbidities."

"We have already sent SoP to all the airlines operating from Bhubaneswar. They have been complying with it religiously. They will inform us about passengers coming from UK from the transit list at the immigration," Ray said.

"The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up kiosks at the terminal to screen passengers for COVID-19 arriving at the airport from UK," he added.

"As far as COVID19 is concerned, we are complying with the State Government guidelines to prevent spread of viral cases. In the wake of cases of new virus strain, we are fully prepared to tackle any situation," asserted Ray.

As per the airport authorities, the BPIA is now handling 27 departures and the same number of arrivals in a day. International operations have not been restarted in the airport till now following the announcement of nationwide lockdown in March earlier this year.

It is relevant to mention here that, the Civil Aviation Ministry has suspended all the flights to and from UK till 31 December midnight in the wake of the new strain of Coronavirus that has reportedly emerged from UK.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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