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Govt lays down SOP for returnees from abroad to prevent spread of COVID-19 in state

Bhubaneswar: Before the arrival of flights carrying stranded people of Odisha from three countries to Bhubaneswar, the state government on Wednesday laid down a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the state.

At least four repatriation flights – two from Dubai and one each from Malaysia and the USA – are scheduled to land in the airport here within the next fortnight, sources in the Biju Patnaik International Airport said.

“We are expecting an Air India flight at 9.15 am on Thursday from Dubai taking about 150 repatriated passengers,” a senior AAI official said.

Another flight from Dubai has been planned on May 19, while a flight from Kuala Lumpur is expected to land here on the next day, he said.

“On May 28, a flight from Chicago in the USA is scheduled to land in Delhi. From there, another flight will bring the passengers here,” the official said.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has decided that passengers boarding an aircraft will be allowed to carry in his/her hand baggage or on his/her person “liquid hand sanitizer” as they need to sanitize hands frequently to contain the spread of coronavirus, the official said.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said the returnees from abroad will also have to register their names on the state government’s COVID-19 portal.

The details of the passengers will be scrutinised and lists will be segregated district-wise, Jena said adding that list would be shared with district collectors for preparedness.

In order to conduct smooth health screening, the passengers will disembark the plane in groups of 20. If anyone is found with COVID-19 symptoms, he or she would be separated from the group and taken for further medical examination, he said.

Passengers with no symptoms can complete immigration and come out of the airport, Jena said and added that they have to use their own vehicles to go home.

After reaching their native places, these people will have to undergo quarantine for 28 days at home or a hotel, he said.

Those who violate the 28-day quarantine will be liable to face action.

The screening will be carried out for train passenger coming to Odisha also and they will have to undergo quarantine for a period of 28 days at home or paid facilities, he said.

A train would come from Delhi and arrive in Bhubaneswar – with a halt in Balasore – on May 15, the SRC said.


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