17 escape after testing Covid +ve at Hatia Station

| | Ranchi
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17 escape after testing Covid +ve at Hatia Station

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 | PNS | Ranchi

At least 17 passengers travelling to Ranchi by trains from Maharashtra and Odisha tested positive for Covid-19 during routine Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) conducted by healthcare workers deployed at Hatia Railway Station on Tuesday, officials said.

While their confirmatory RT PCR test results were awaited by the time this report was filed, most of these 17 passengers left the railway station premises and went home in absence of a proper mechanism for taking them to hospitals or quarantine centres instead, eyewitnesses said.

Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan had on Monday directed officials to ensure that all passengers testing positive for Covid-19 upon their arrival at railway stations or airport should not be allowed to go home. Ranjan was not available for his remarks on the development on Tuesday.

However, Ranchi Sub Divisional Officer Deepak Dubey said an explanation for the lax will be sought from the magistrates deployed at the railway station to ensure Covid positive passengers were not allowed to go home.

“An ambulance was parked outside the railway station to take passengers who test Covid positive to hospitals or quarantine centres. Magistrates deployed at the railway station will be asked for an explanation on how the Covid positive passengers escaped,” Dubey said.

An official deployed at Hatia Railway Station said that the passengers left the railway station premises even before their rapid test results came. Some of them even switched off their mobile phones after leaving the railway station, and are traceless since then.

Health officials have admitted that travellers from other states were contributing to the spike in Covid cases in Jharkhand lately. While the administration in all the districts have been directed to intensify Covid screening for passengers, many Covid positive passengers went traceless in the state lately, posing risk of infection among locals.

Sources at Ranchi Railway Station said some passengers even tried to dodge Covid tests by jumping over fences at Ranchi Railway Station on Tuesday. Many passengers have in the past provided wrong addresses and contact details during Covid tests at railway stations in a bid to avoid quarantine, sources said. 

More than 100 passengers tested Covid positive in rapid antigen tests conducted on October 22 and October 23 at Hatia Railway Station. However, they tested negative for Covid-19 in confirmatory RT PCR tests, the results of which came a few days later, Ranchi Civil Surgeon Dr. Vinod Kumar has clarified. However, some of the passengers who tested Covid positive in rapid tests at Hatia Railway Station earlier this week were found to be Covid positive even in confirmatory RT PCR tests.

Meanwhile, a Jamtara resident who recently returned home from Bangalore died of Covid-19 on Tuesday, doctors said. According to local sources, the deceased, who worked as a labourer in Bangalore, returned to Jharkhand on October 22. On Monday, his haemoglobin count dropped to an alarmingly low level and he died while he was being taken to Dhanbad for treatment.

As per data compiled by the health department, as many as 5,136 people have died of Covid-19 in Jharkhand so far.   

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