Odisha started doorstep screening of 350,000 families in Ganjam district on Monday as part of government efforts to identify and treat Covid-19 patients in the hot spot where cases have soared in recent weeks after the return of thousands of migrant workers.
Ganjam district collector Vijay Amrita Kulange said as the maximum numbers of migrants returned to Ganjam district, the district administration started the screening drive in view of the monsoon, which is likely to hit the state next week. So far, at least 150,000 migrant workers have returned to the district that has 631 cases, roughly a fifth of all cases in the state
“While some migrant workers are staying in official quarantine centres, others are under home quarantine. To know the extent of spread of the virus, our teams will visit houses wherein they will screen people for corona symptoms using infrared thermometers to record body temperatures. They will also screen people having fever, cold, diarrhoea,” Kulange said, appealing to local people to not hide the disease. The programme will end on Saturday.
Most of the migrant workers who returned to Ganjam were working in Surat and other industrial cities of Gujarat, which has more than 20,000 cases of coronavirus infection.
Till Monday, 1,993 persons were discharged across the state, making up around 66% of the total number of patients. However, state health officials admitted that the steady rise of cases in Ganjam and 10 other districts – such as Bolangir and Kendrapara -- was a matter of worry.
The Naveen Patnaik government has now enforced complete shutdown on weekends during June. “This month is most important in our fight against Covid-19. Ten hours night curfew from 7 PM to 5 AM will restrict the people for 300 hours in a month. Both weekend shutdown and night curfew will keep people indoors for 17 days in a month, which will help in checking spread of Covid-19 to a great extent,” Patnaik said last week.