(Eds: Adds fresh inputs) Bhubaneswar, Mar 25 (PTI) Odisha's COVID-19 caseload mounted to 3,39,460 after 214 more people tested positive for the virus on Thursday, a health department official said.
The state government also asked the district and municipal authorities to prepare for inoculation of all people above the age of 45 years from April 1.
The state has so far vaccinated over 20 lakh people under different categories like health care workers, frontline workers, those above 60 years of age and persons with comorbidities in the age group of 45 to 59 years.
In the next phase, people born before January 1977 will be given vaccines even without having comorbidities, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said in a letter to district collectors, municipal commissioners and other officers concerned.
Meanwhile, the state on Thursday registered 214 new positive cases, which is the highest single-day spike since January 15.
Besides the state capital of Bhubaneswar and neighbouring Cuttack, there has been a rise in the number of positive cases in the districts bordering Chhattisgarh, the official said.
The state's COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 1,919 as no fresh fatality has been reported since March 22. A total of 53 other COVID-19 patients have also died due to comorbidities.
Odisha now has 1,079 active cases, which is 0.31 per cent of the caseload.
The state during the day registered recovery of as many as 72 patients taking the total number of cured people to 3,36,409 which is 99.10 per cent of the caseload.
After detection of over two dozen COVID-19 cases at a leading management institute in Bhubaneswar, four students, including one from a central government-run school, have tested positive for the virus in the city.
BMC commissioner P C Chaudhury said that random tests will be conducted in public places like railway stations, airports, markets and in some hostels as more students are getting infected with the virus in recent times.
Two lady teachers and a student of a reputed university in Cuttack also tested positive for the disease following which the authorities postponed the undergraduate and postgraduate examinations that were scheduled to be held from Thursday.
School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said, 'No positive case has been reported from state-run schools or hostels so far. We have ordered all officials to strictly adhere to SOPs issued by the government.' He also said that the district authorities are instructed to keep a vigil on privatel educational institutes.
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