The Jagannath Temple in Puri, which attracts lakhs of pilgrims and tourists, on Tuesday made it mandatory for people from the five states (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Kerala) to produce COVID-19 negative certificates in view of the spiralling cases. According to an official of the district administration, people travelling to the Puri must produce RT-PCR negative report at the railway station and bus stands. Odisha reported 588 fresh COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, pushing the caseload to 3,43,856.
The Puri district administration, in a review meeting, also decided that producing certificates of two doses of the Covid vaccine will also be accepted.
“We have made a negative RT-PCR test report (72 hours before start of journey) mandatory for people coming to Puri from these five states. The final vaccination certificate will also be verified,” Puri District Magistrate, Samarth Verma said. Special arrangements have been made at the railway station for COVID-19 testing of passengers from the five states, Mr Verma said.
Those who test positive will either undergo home isolation or institutional quarantine. Out of the new coronavirus cases, Khurda district reported the highest number of 105 infections. Sundergarh (84), Kalahandi (64), Jharsuguda (31), Cuttack (30) and Nuapada (29) are among the badly hit districts.
The number of deaths remained unchanged at 1,922 as no new fatalities have been reported since Sunday. Odisha now has 3,731 active cases, while 3,38,150 people have recovered so far. The state has conducted over 92.13 lakh tests, including 25,005 on Monday, the official said.
Meanwhile, amid reports of vaccine shortage in Odisha, Health and Family Welfare Director, Bijay Panigrahi said 3.47 lakh doses of Covishield are in stock, and the state will receive another 3.49 lakh doses by afternoon.
“However, the quantity is inadequate and will last for only three days. We will again write to the Centre for adequate supply of vaccine for uninterrupted inoculation,” Mr Panigrahi added. In the past five days, over 11 lakh people have been vaccinated against the target of 10 lakh.