Odisha’s COVID-19 death toll mounts to 23; cases rise to 6,859

Bhubaneswar, Jun 29 (PTI) Odisha's coronavirus death toll mounted to 23 with two more persons succumbing to the disease on Monday, as the total number of cases in the state reached 6,859, a health department official said.

A total of 245 people, including two NDRF personnel, tested positive for the disease on Monday, he said.

The latest fatalities were reported from the state's worst-hit Ganjam district, which alone accounts for 12 of the 23 deaths so far, a health department statement said.

The latest victims include two men, aged 48 and 52 years, it said, adding the COVID-19 death toll in Khurda stood at five, followed by four in Cuttack, and one each in Bargarh and Puri districts, the official said.

Seven other COVID-19 patients had died earlier, but their deaths were attributed to other diseases, he said.

The 245 fresh cases were reported from 19 districts, taking the total number of infections in the state to 6,859, the official said.

Of these new cases, 214 were reported from quarantine centres where people returning from other states are housed, while 31 patients had come in contact with other COVID-19 patients, he said.

Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are among the fresh cases. They were placed under institutional quarantine after their return from West Bengal, where they had gone for restoration work in the wake of cyclone Amphan, he added.

With this, the number of disaster response personnel, including those from the NDRF, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and the Odisha Fire Service infected with the disease has risen to 292, according to the official.

The districts that reported a high number of fresh cases are Ganjam (96), Jajpur (40), Khorda (28) and Bargarh (10).

Meanwhile, the state on Monday also reported 203 patients recovering from the disease, taking the total number of persons cured of the disease to 4,946, which is 72.10 per cent of the total virus cases in the state.

With fresh casualties, new cases and recoveries, the state’s active cases now stands at 1,883, the official said.

The administration of Ganjam district, which has 403 active cases, has asked people not to travel more than a kilometre from their home towns, hide COVID-19 symptoms or venture outdoors without masks.

It also imposed shutdown in Chhatrapur town, the district headquarters in view of the spike in positive cases.

The Jajpur district administration also prohibited the residents from visiting government offices though they would remain open. A decision in this regard was taken after a tehsildar tested positive for the deadly virus on Monday. The restriction will remain in force till the midnight of July 8.

'No public, individually or in groups, shall visit the public offices throughout Jajpur district till July 8 midnight. However, the public offices will function by adopting the social distancing measures, use of masks and other COVID-19 guidelines,' said Jajpur collector Ranjan Kumar Das in an official order.

Odisha has so far tested 2,60,428 samples including 4,619 samples in the last 24 hours, officials added.