High Court directs Govt to ensure COVID-19 test before bringing people back to Odisha

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court (HC) on Thursday directed the state government to ensure conduct of RT-PCR test of people willing to return to Odisha in the respective states before bringing them back.

Hearing a PIL filed by one Narayan Chandra Jena, the HC further asked the government not to allow the returnees inside the state if they are found COVID-19 positive during the test.

The petitioner had appeared in person before the court. While court proceedings have remained suspended due to the lockdown, a divisional Bench heard the PIL taking into account urgency of the matter.

Jena said he had appealed to the HC to direct the state government to take necessary steps for food and accommodation of the stranded people in the respective states instead of bringing scores of people back to the state. He made the appeal before the court after the number of positive cases in Odisha rapidly increased following return of stranded people from various states.

Hearing the PIL, the court ordered the state government to make sure that people wanting to return to Odisha get the COVID-19 test done in the respective states before coming back and allow only those who test negative for the virus. If anyone found positive, the state government will bear the expense  of treatment in the respective states, Jena said quoting the HC.

“Put up this matter on the next sitting of the Bench, on which date necessary interim order shall be passed ,” read the HC directive.

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