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Odisha HC directs govt to ensure migrants go through RT-PCR test before entering state

The Shiv Sena on Thursday took a dim view of large crowds outside liquor shops in Mumbai earlier this week, and said people should understand that liquor is “not a vaccine” for Covid-19.  Image for representation: PTIAfter reporting the highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases, Odisha High Court has directed the state government to ensure…

The Shiv Sena on Thursday took a dim view of large crowds outside liquor shops in Mumbai earlier this week, and said people should understand that liquor is “not a vaccine” for Covid-19. 

Image for representation: PTI

After reporting the highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases, Odisha High Court has directed the state government to ensure that all those wanting to return to the state go through RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test first and be allowed to enter only if they test negative.

The court, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by social activist Narayan C Jena, directed the state government to conduct the RT-PCR test on the migrant Odia workers in the states that they are currently stranded in and allow them entry to Odisha only after they test negative for Covid-19.

While speaking to media, Narayan C Jena said, “I welcome the direction by the high court to the state government. I have filed PIL that those staying in other states should remain there and all their food and medical expenses will be taken care by the state government, They should only return after PCR testing and not through Rapid testing. Honorable court has accepted my PIL and issued direction to the state government.”

Talking to India Today TV, senior journalist Rabi Das said that the high court has gone out of the way with its order. He said testing the migrants in the states where they are stranded is not feasible as the testing machinery is weak in the country.

“How is it feasible when the testing machinery is so weak in the country? The state governments are busy testing people after contact tracing and those in containment zones. Who will test these poor people? This basically means that these migrant workers will be unable to come back in years. Who will feed them? Where will they stay? Who will pay for their medical expenses?.

Meanwhile, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has asked all collectors and municipal commissioners to ensure spot registration of non-enrolled returnees in temporary medical camps, immediately after their arrival from other states.

“All those returning from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Kerala will be kept in institutional quarantine mandatorily. Home quarantine option will not be made available,” an official order of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation said.

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