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Coronavirus: Odisha govt bats for mandatory testing for migrant workers

Coronavirus: Odisha govt bats for mandatory testing for migrant workers

It will be easy for all the states to handle COVID-19 situations if COVID-19 test is made mandatory for migrant workers or people interested to return to their native states

The state government has decided to start both online and offline registration of people wanting to return to Odisha from Friday The state government has decided to start both online and offline registration of people wanting to return to Odisha from Friday

The Odisha government on Thursday said it would press for mandatory COVID-19 testing of migrant workers at places where they are standard due to the ongoing lockdown and desperate to return home immediately after lifting of the restrictions.

Health Minister N K Das said he will take up the matter with the Centre as it would help the states in handling the COVID-19 situation. I will raise the issue with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan at the video conferencing scheduled to be held on Friday, he said.

It will be easy for all the states to handle COVID-19 situations if COVID-19 test is made mandatory for migrant workers or people interested to return to their native states, Das told reporters.

The issue on migrant workers return to Odisha after the lockdown is lifted was discussed at the Group of Ministers meeting chaired by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari.

Stating that he had earlier drawn the attention of the Union Health Minister to the need to conduct mandatory COVID- 19 tests for the migrant workers from Odisha stranded in other states, Das said, I will again raise the issue. The GOM anticipated that about 5 lakh people, mostly migrant workers, are expected to return to Odisha after the lockdown is lifted.

"In view of the possible influx of stranded workers, we have kept the gram panchayat institutions ready to deal with it, said Panchayati Raj Minister Pratap Jena.

The state government has set up a procedure for registration and quarantine arrangement for the people stranded in other states who intend to come to Odisha after the lockdown ends. The state government has decided to start both online and offline registration of people wanting to return to Odisha from Friday.

In the notification issued by the Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena informed the secretaries of Panchayati Raj and Housing and Urban Development about the procedure to be followed for the purpose.

The notification said that all the returnees need to be stamped with the date of their return and end of the quarantine period with indelible ink. The Panchayati Raj Department will requisition required quantity of indelible ink from Mysore, the notification said. It said all gram panchayats and urban local bodies will have a registration facility for the people intending to return to Odisha after the lockdown.

The notification also said that where persons are allowed home quarantine, a proper sticker must be affixed on the front of the house. Such persons must be closely monitored to ensure that they adhere to the quarantine guidelines.

The Housing and Urban Development Department may make arrangements in coordination with hotels for quarantine of people who wish to avail such facilities. The expenditure on such paid quarantine facilities shall be borne by the person concerned, it said.

The expenditure on the provision of temporary accommodation, food, drinking water, sanitation and medical care for the people in quarantine camps shall be met out of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), it said.

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Published on: Apr 24, 2020, 8:30 AM IST
Posted by: intern five, Apr 24, 2020, 8:30 AM IST