Odisha Sees Rapid COVID-19 Spread, Migrants Demand More Testing

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Odisha Sees Rapid COVID-19 Spread, Migrants Demand More Testing

Till April 29, Odisha had only 125 positive cases of COVID-19. However, this number jumped to 1,948 within one month. The reason behind this sudden surge is the arrival of around 2 lakh migrant workers from across the country.

Not only Odisha has to meet the food demands by poor but it is battling with increased positive COVID-19 cases. It has set up 26 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals with a total of 4,470 beds. There are seven dedicated COVID-19 health centres with 926 beds. The government has also readied 15,867 temporary medical centres in 6,798 panchayats where around seven lakh beds have been arranged to serve COVID-19 patients. But, to contain the increased number is havoc for the state.

Arrival Of Migrants Put Pressure On Odisha’s Financial And Human Resources

With the arrival of migrants comes the responsibility of their health and management of quarantine centres. This seems to be putting extraordinary pressure on the government’s financial and human resources. The government has reduced the mandatory quarantine from 21 days to14 days. Of 14 days, for 7 days the migrant has to be in self-isolation at home.

As reported by The Wire, Santosh Kumar Jena, a Pune-returned person at the centre, said that the team of district officials who visit the centre from time to time give them medicines for problems like cough, cold and loose motions, they won’t conduct swab tests. 

It further reported that Kamdev Moharana, who is sharing the room with Manas and Santosh at the Kasanada centre after returning to the state from Indore, dittoed their health concerns. “There is no reason why asymptomatic people should not be tested because they can be potential carriers of the virus, especially if they are returning from coronavirus hotspots like Mumbai and Pune,” he said, as reported by The Wire.

However, people at the quarantine centre like Santosh remain worried. He argues that with asymptomatic persons accounting for a large number of COVID-19 positive cases, there was an urgent need to subject everyone coming from outside to swab tests. 

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