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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With West Bengal returnees posing problems for Odisha, which is fighting against deadly coronavirus, the state government on Friday appealed to all of them to come forward and get tested for COVID-19.

The Health Department said people, who have returned from West Bengal recently, should not hide and must come forward for testing, which is free of cost.

"People who have returned from West Bengal recently should not hide. They must come forward for testing. Thay may seem healthy; yet could be infected and also spread infection," said the department in a tweet.

"They are advised to contact local BDO, tahasildar, sarpanch and remain isolated at home. Testing is free," it said.

The department also informed that only 15 per cent of the total positive cases in the state had some symptoms at the time of testing while the rest 85 per cent had no symptoms.

It asked the persons having flu-like symptoms to dial 104 helpline anytime for medical advice.

Nearly half of the total 143 COVID-19 positive cases are having West Bengal links in the state.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had informed that West Bengal returnees are now the new challenge for Odisha after Nizamuddin and foreign returnees.

Patnaik said a huge number of people will return to Odisha from states with high number of coronavirus cases, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.

“They are our people. It is our responsibility to take care of them. The positive cases may rise after their return to the state. However, the situation can be kept under control if you cooperate with the government,” he said.

“Therefore, we need to be alert, opt for registration of people returning from outside and support the Odisha government in keeping them in quarantine. Our family, village and community will remain safe if we follow instructions” said Patnaik.

“A little carelessness can cost us dear and mistakes can lead to Covid19 explosion in State. This is a matter of life and death. Even mistakes by 10 percent of people, can compound the problem100 times,” Patnaik said.

(IANS)

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