Ranchi district administration beefed up security at railway stations and bus stands on Wednesday to stop passengers who test Covid positive from running away. The development comes a day after at least 17 passengers fled the Hatia Railway Station after testing Covid positive in rapid antigen test and some of them even went traceless.
According to details shared by officials concerned, at least 120 police personnel were deployed at Ranchi Railway Station, Hatia Railway Station, Khadgada Bus Stand and ITI Bus Stand on the day to keep a watch on passengers, especially the ones travelling from other states.
“At least 90 police personnel have been deployed at Ranchi and Hatia Railway Stations, while about 40 police personnel have been deployed at Khadgada and ITI bus stands,” said Ranchi Sub Divisional Officer Deepak Dubey, adding that the district administration sought additional security at bus stands and railway stations following incidents of passengers fleeing after testing positive in Rapid Antigen Tests.
Several passengers travelling to Ranchi from other states by trains have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past couple of weeks and some of them managed to dodge quarantine by providing wrong addresses and contact details. However, Tuesday’s incident triggered panic as all the 17 passengers who tested Covid positive upon arrival at Hatia Railway Station fled despite the deployment of magistrates at the railway station. Some of these passengers even switched off their mobile phones to avoid any communication with the district administration.
On Tuesday, several passengers jumped over fences and barricades set by the district administration to dodge Covid testing, sources said. A majority of the passengers avoided Covid test fearing that it would land them in a quarantine centre, and they won’t be allowed to visit home, staff deployed at Ranchi Railway Station said.
“We have been requesting passengers to cooperate with us. It takes hardly 10 minutes to get rapid test results, but many passengers do not want to wait and cooperate with us,” said the SDO.As per government data, there were as many as 190 active Covid cases in Jharkhand on Wednesday morning, and more than half of them were from Ranchi alone. Ranchi civil surgeon Dr. Vinod Kumar has said that interstate travellers are contributing to the spike in cases here, and screening them is important to check Covid-19.