Mandatory Institutional Quarantine For Those Arriving In Bhubaneswar From COVID Hotspot Dists

Bhubaneswar: People arriving in slums of Odisha capital from hotspot districts – Ganjam, Cuttack, Balasore, Gajapati and Jajpur – of the state will now have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for a specified period of 14 days.


Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary on Friday informed that an order has been passed in this regard as those returning from the heavy-case-load districts have tested positive for the virus in recent past.

The commissioner said that despite the spike the COVID cases, the situation is under control since cases are concentrated in one or two pockets.

“Among the 274 positive cases, 25 patients are from other states and not Bhubaneswar residents. They are in the city for work and tested corona positive during the home quarantine. Similarly, 39 employees of a private hospital, which was sealed on Wednesday, have so far been found to have been infected,” he said.

Chaudhary further said that three teams are continuing with inspection of hospitals in the city and 10 hospitals have been issued a show-cause notice for violating COVID-19 management guidelines.

Also Read: BMC Notice To Private Hospitals Flouting COVID Protocols In Bhubaneswar

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He said the floating population with 16 trains and 12 flights arrive in the city every day is a challenge for the BMC. Four teams are stationed at airport for screening, registration, stomping and home quarantine of the passengers, he said.

Chaudhary informed that 8681 people had returned to Bhubaneswar from other states and abroad till now and 2791 among them were still in quarantine.

The commissioner also expressed concern over people flouting social distancing norms in the city. “The denizens have become complacent, which we cannot afford at this hour. On Fridays, before the weekend shuts, markets get crowded and social distancing norms are thrown to the wind. People are also not wearing masks properly. Social distancing, mask and regular hand wash are the only way to keep the virus at bay,” he said.

He said the stress has been on community participation for the past one month. There are 2085 volunteers and ward Shachetak committees with five members each headed by a mentor have been formed. “One round of training for the volunteers has been completed and they have been provided with 1497 kits with a thermal scanner and masks, to check for COVID-19 symptoms among people while visiting their areas for creating awareness,” he said.

Also Read: 14 Local Contacts Among 16 New Corona Cases In Bhubaneswar; 9 Pvt Hospital Staffers

Chaudhary further said that slums are being strictly monitored and three to four rounds of active surveillance have already been completed there. “Home quarantine facility is not allowed in slums. Anyone found to be symptomatic is taken into quarantine and then tested for COVID-19. We don’t want to take any risk and allow for the spread of the virus between detection and testing of a case,” he said.

Slum committees have been constituted and 120 peer leaders activated for the purpose, he said.

Speaking about Subhash Nagar Basti, which was declared a containment zone after detection of six cases, he said that a Delhi returnee had tested positive for the virus and five of his close contacts were later found to have been infected. “Around 300 houses were contained and 43 direct contacts and 14 symptomatic cases from the slum were tested and the results were found to be negative,” he said.

Similarly in Salia Sahi, the biggest slum in the city, four persons had contracted the virus. “As many as 100 households were isolated and 500 people tested in the slum,” he said.

Contact tracing and home quarantine shifting process are completed within 24 hours of detection of a case. “We have dedicated team for that,” he said.

The commissioner further said that taking care of the vulnerable section -elderly and pregnant women – is the other focus area for the BMC. Surveys are being conducted to identify such people and they are asked to download Sachetak app, which helps the BMC to keep track of them.

Sachetak volunteers have been tagged with 5000 of those staying alone in the city, he said.

“It is the elderly people who have succumbed to the virus in the city, so we are trying to take care of them by providing caregiver orientation programme to their family members to take care of their medical and banking needs,” he added.

The virus has so far claimed three lives in the city, which now has 132 active cases.



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