BHUBANESWAR: With government mandating RT-PCR test of foreign passengers arriving at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), particularly from ‘countries at risk’, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to relaunch screening and testing. It has already deployed a team at the airport for the purpose.
The civic body convened a meeting with the BPIA officials on Sunday and asked the latter to share the list of passengers who have arrived from abroad recently. The BPIA was asked to facilitate setting up of a counter at the airport for screening and testing on foreign returnees. Testing of passengers at the airport will start in a day or two after the arrangements are put in place.
Apart from screening and testing passengers from abroad, the BMC has decided to test those who have recent international travel history, particularly to countries where the new variant Omicron has been detected. BMC has also sought an SOP from the Health department for isolation of persons undergoing RT-PCR test as they will have to isolate themselves till their report is out.
The rapid response teams (RRTs) in the city have also been put on alert for surveillance and contact tracing if needed, said BMC Additional Commissioner Laxmikant Sethi. Around 18 rapid response teams have been kept in readiness at the zonal level while 22 teams at BMC headquarters for their mobilisation for contact tracing during need.
Apart from screening and testing, BMC has decided to tighten enforcement on mandatory use of masks and social distancing in crowded places. The Covid graph in the Capital has started going down as daily caseload has remained below 100. The city now has 1,369 active cases.