Covid-19 Surge: Odisha Seals Border With Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

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After sealing the border with Chhattisgarh in west and West Bengal in north, the Odisha government Tuesday closed its border with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in south with an intent to check the spread of the virus in the state. Following reports on observation of a virulent variant of COVID-19 in people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Odisha government made a 14-day quarantine mandatory for people coming to Odisha from the two states, Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra said in an order.

The district magistrates of six districts have been asked to ensure that none enter or exit from Odisha through border with these two neighbouring states. “Anyone coming to Odisha from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by personal/hired vehicles and trains or entering the state on any other mode shall undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for 14 days in cluster temporary medical centres (TMC) to be managed by BDO or executive offices of urban bodies,” he said in the order.

All passengers coming from the two states through airway (Bhubaneswar or Jharsuguda airport) and railway to Odisha, will have to undergo institutional quarantine/paid quarantine for 14 days. The collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nawrangpur have been directed to put Border Check Posts (BCP) on all inter-state roads (NH, state roads and local roads) along Andhra Pradesh and Telangana border with immediate effect.

The district administrations were further directed to ensure border tracking for all the major and minor entry points for incoming people from the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana or adjoining their districts to the state. They have been asked to make adequate police arrangements for such tracking.

The district administrations will have to ensure appropriate facilities and logistic support to cluster TMC. However, people travelling from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to other states through Odisha will be allowed without disembarking from the vehicle en-route inside Odisha, the chief secretary said in his order.

Sarpanch(s)/ Ward Member(s) of PRIs & volunteers shall be mobilised to create awareness in their areas and further report to B00/Police Station/ Local Authorities about any person coming from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not quarantined in institutional facilities. Any person, who has been successfully vaccinated (two doses) and produces certificate to the effect or test negative in RTPCR test (report to be produced) within 48 hours before entering Odisha, will have to stay in home quarantine for 7 days.

If there is no suitable facility for home quarantine, he/ she may go for institutional /paid quarantine for a week. Persons coming on emergency works related to COVID-19 management by government and private hospitals as well as those coming in connection any work permitted by the state government have been exempted from this order.

Transport Commissioner has been instructed to provide necessary assistance and guidance to the collectors in operationalising the border check posts. If any person found violating these measures, action will be taken in accordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulations issued there under.

Legal action will also be taken again the violator, warned the government.

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