Omicron scare: Incommunicado international returnees worry Odisha

The health authorities warned of stern action against the international travellers if they do not cooperate and if their phones are switched off.

Published: 04th December 2021 08:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2021 08:51 AM   |  A+A-

Bhubaneswar Airport

Passengers arrive at Bhubaneswar airport (File Photo | Express)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Amid the lurking fear for the new super mutant Omicron variant, a number of foreign returnees who arrived in the State in last few days became incommunicado a day after Odisha government asked officials to track them and ensure their Covid test.  

While mobiles of some returnees were switched off, many others did not cooperate with the designated team deployed by the respective district administrations citing that they have moved to other cities, putting the officials on their toes.

The State had received 380 returnees from overseas by November 30 and the Health and Family Welfare department had shared the list of international travellers with the districts to track them by Friday.  What is alarming is that all the returnees are from the countries ‘at risk’ for the Omicron variant. The non-cooperation of travellers has fuelled the apprehension of missing RT-PCR tests at the landing airports.

Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said as several returnees are yet to be traced, the districts have been asked to submit a list of untraceable international travellers with the State control room for further action. “District officials informed that some could not be contacted and relatives of a number of returnees claimed that the returnees had moved to Bengaluru and other cities,” he said.    

The health authorities warned of stern action against the international travellers if they do not cooperate and if their phones are switched off. The districts and municipal corporations have been directed to take all required measures to trace the returnees. The officials held a series of meetings to discuss all the measures that need to be taken and how such cases need to be tackled. 

Meanwhile, the State witnessed a steady rise in new cases and fall in recovery for past few days. As many as 270 fresh infections were recorded from 19 districts and three persons succumbed to the disease in last 24 hours. Khurda reported the maximum 124 cases, followed by 20 from Dhenkanal, 16 from Cuttack and 14 from Sundargarh. With this, the active cases rose to 2,192.


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