Cornonavirus alert: Odisha govt starts screening passengers at airport

By-Pramit Karmakar

Bhubaneswar, Jan 28: At a time when the neighbouring eastern countries are grappling with the threat of Cornonavirus, the state of Odisha, lying in close proximity with the South Asian countries on Monday claimed that there is no need to be panic. It also claimed that screening of people coming from vulnerable countries are also done to avert any scope of the disease outbreak in the state.

The State Health and Family Welfare Department also tried to allay the fears of the people living in the state and claimed that the state is well prepared to fight against the outbreak. The threat perception of the state is believed to be little bit higher keeping in mind its air connectivity with South East Asian Countries.

The department in a press conference on Monday claimed that they are completely prepared to tackle the deadly virus. The government is also said to be providing guidance on early investigations,which are critical to carry out in an outbreak of new virus. The department also told the reporters that ample arrangements have also been done in the major medical colleges and hospitals in the city.

“According to reports, three persons in Malaysia and one in Nepal have been tested positive for the virus. Since Odisha has direct flight services to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, screening of all passengers has begun at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar,” said Principal Secretary of Health, Nikunja Bihari Dhal.

The department has appealed to passengers having travel history to China since 1st January 2020 and having any symptoms like fever,cough and breathing difficulties to attend nearest district headquarter hospital, government medical colleges or Capital Hospital immediately for health checkup.

The department has also asked the citizens of the state to maintain their personal hygiene, avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms and also to avoid contact with live wild or farm animals.

“There is nothing to panic. We are fully prepared to take care of any situations that may arise,” said Dhal.

Dhal also said, “The four hospitals where arrangements have been made are SCB Medical College & Hospital, VIMSAR Burla, Capital Hospital, and District Headquarters Hospital Jharsuguda”.

Dhal added  that the authorities of Paradip Port have been alerted and toll free numbers (0674-2390466 and 9439994857) are issued by the health department.

(Pramit Karmakar is a news intern with

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