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All fresh arrivals must undergo Covid test, ramp it up, Nitish tells officials

PUBLISHED ON MAY 11, 2020 10:53 PM IST

PATNA Chief minister Nitish Kumar Monday directed officials to make arrangements for facilitating the return of migrants and outsiders stuck in Bihar due to the lockdown but said all fresh arrivals should be subjected to Covid tests, instead of the current practice of random tests.

The chief minister said a detailed plan for bringing back people stranded in other parts of the country should be worked out in discussion with Railways and states concerned immediately.

“For enabling the return of visitors and others stuck in Bihar, a SOP (standard operating procedure) should be prepared and circulated among them in the next seven days, so that they able to figure out their eligibility for the movement back to their respective states,” Kumar told officials at a meeting also attended by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and chief secretary Deepak Kumar.

The CM said that in order to subject all fresh arrivals to Covid tests, capacity should be ramped up. “It is necessary for breaking the chain.”

Another decision taken in the meeting was to provide one soap bar and four face masks to every family at the panchayat level free of cost. “As awareness is key, immediate steps for loud speaker facility should be initiated to spread the message on the need to maintain personal hygiene, observe social distancing, use of face masks, etc,” the CM said.

For jobless workers returning home, the CM directed officials to ensure the availability of building materials for revving up construction activities for involving a large number of skilled and unskilled workers in productive activities.

Kumar also asked the administration to gear up for accommodating state-bound migrants in quarantine centres at the panchayat and block level and entrusted the task for monitoring the progress in the hands of concerned DMs and SPs.

He also directed officials to complete the setting up of Covid testing centres and increasing the number of isolation beds and ventilators at the district level so that tests and treatment went hand in hand.

“Till now, the state was getting testing kits in small quantities. But now the number of Covid patients are increasing, as people are returning, we must ensure there is an adequate supply to meet the requirement and also for carrying out the tests on a bigger scale,” he said.

At present, over 1.32 lakh people are put up in various quarantine centres.

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