Negative RT-PCR report compulsory for people coming to Odisha
With Odisha’s daily Covid-19 cases slowly inching towards 900, the state government on Thursday made it compulsory for incoming travellers to produce a negative RT-PCR report on their arrival. The report should be obtained not more than 72 hours before entry to the state. Besides, a Covid-19 negative report, a person can also produce a final vaccination certificate, an official order stated.
In the order, the Special Relief Commissioner’s office said people coming to Odisha by any public transport, such as train, bus, aeroplane, or waterways etc., will have to produce a negative RT-PCR report obtained within 72 hours of entry or a final vaccination certificate (after two doses of vaccination). The SRC’s notification said people coming to Odisha without such a report shall have to undergo seven days of mandatory home or institutional quarantine.
On Thursday, Odisha reported 879 new Covid cases.
The state government has also suspended all public transport from Odisha to Chhattisgarh and vice versa till April 30. The transport department has been asked to set up Border Check Points at strategic locations/border entry points to manage the entry of incoming persons/vehicles.
Meanwhile, Odisha chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra urged Railway Board chairman Suneet Sharma to cancel all passenger trains, including local and mail/express from Chhattisgarh with effect from April 10. Mahapatra said Indian Railways should ensure that all passengers travelling to Odisha, from anywhere by train, must have an RT-PCR negative test report not more than 72 hours old from the date of journey or a second dose vaccination certificate.
Though the Covid-19 situation in Odisha is not alarming, officials said the cross border movements of people may worsen the situation in almost all border districts of Odisha. There has been a significant surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The state government has authorised the collectors of Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts to set up and operationalise Temporary Medical Centres/Cluster Temporary Medical Centres as per the requirement to provide institutional quarantine facilities for people coming from other states. The expenditure for opening and running of such facilities shall be borne under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release ₹300 crore to the state for the management of the upsurge in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“During 2020-21, Odisha requested for ₹400 crores under the Emergency Covid Response Plan but we received only ₹146 crores. In view of the new wave of Covid, it is requested that at least ₹300 crores be released to Odisha for 2021-22 for Covid Management,” Patnaik said.
The chief minister also raised the issue about vaccine supply and requested the Centre to ensure an advance release of at least 10 days’ stock of vaccines for Odisha.
“Odisha has been doing well in vaccination program with among the lowest wastage in the country and efficient system of administering the vaccine to eligible beneficiaries,” the CM said. “We have not been able to ramp up the vaccination due to supply issues. We are currently able to vaccinate 2.5 lakh people daily and have the capability to increase further. We request for at least 10 days of vaccine stock for Odisha,” he added.