Wednesday, December 01, 2021

BMC seeks data from airport on returnees

Bhubaneswar: Two foreigners - one from Togo and the other from Sri Lanka - who have arrived in the city to take part in the international sand art festival have been kept in a quarantine facility, here on Tuesday, and their swab samples sent for RT-PCR test amid the threat of Omicron which has been detected in some countries.

The person from Togo flew to the city from Delhi, having taken a non-scheduled international flight, while the Sri Lankan national came via Chennai. They are under the supervision of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

"Their RT-PCR report is yet to come. We are vigilant," BMC commissioner Sanjay Kumar Singh said. The commissioner said they have spoken to the authorities at Biju Patnaik International Airport regarding coordination with the BMC and surveillance at the airport as well as getting hold of passenger details.

"Our testing kiosk is there at the airport. But that apart, we have requested the airport authorities to provide us with daily passenger data. Since no international flight is operating and non-scheduled international flights have been suspended indefinitely, we have urged the airport to share daily passenger data so that we can launch the tracking and testing by our teams if required," Singh said.

The BMC has decided to track all foreign returnees, even if they arrive on domestic flights. It has written to the airport authorities to provide a list of such passengers who boarded domestic flights after arriving from a foreign country.

Airport director Pravat Ranjan Beuria said he has activated the air traffic control (ATC) to keep him apprised regarding the arrival of non-scheduled domestic flights as well.

01/12/21 Times of India

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