Bhubaneswar, Apr 16 (PTI) Odishas COVID-19 caseload on Friday mounted to 3,61,450 after 3,108 more people tested positive for the infection, while three fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,938, a health department official said.
Meanwhile, keeping in view the COVID-19 surge, Odishas major tourist destination, the Sun Temple in Konark, has been closed with immediate effect.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said, due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, all centrally-protected monuments, sites, and museums in the state will remain closed with immediate effect.
It will remain in force till May 15, 2021, or until further orders, an ASI official said.
Three prominent monuments and sites, including Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri, Sun Temple in Konark and Shree Lingaraj Temple in Puri, are among the ASI protected monuments.
ASI Odisha circle superintending engineer A K Mallick said the authorities of Shree Jagannath Temple and Shree Lingaraj Temple have been apprised of the ASIs decision for closing the monuments for visitors given the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
Till last reports came in on Friday afternoon, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) was holding a meeting with different stakeholders to decide the next course of action, a senior official said.
The single-day spike of 3,000 plus cases on Friday is considered to be the highest figure so far this year, the health department official said.
The coastal state had registered over 3,000 cases, six months ago on October 8, 2020, when 3,144 people had tested positive for COVID-19.
The number of active cases has increased to 16,889, which was 2,125 barely a fortnight ago on April 1, the official said.
The states coronavirus death toll also mounted to 1,938 after three fatalities were reported from Bolangir, Ganjam and Sambalpur districts.
Besides, 53 other COVID-19 patients have died due to comorbidities.
The COVID-19 death toll in Ganjam district toll has climbed to 251, which is the second highest after 341 coronavirus deaths in Khurda.
Of the 3,108 new positive cases, 1,806 were reported from quarantine centres, while the remaining were detected during contact tracing.
Khurda district reported the highest number of 534 new cases, followed by Sundergarh (523).
The other districts which reported 100 plus new cases are Cuttack (163), Nabarangpur (156), Sambalpur (153), Balasore (151), Nuapada (140), Bargarh (132), Bolangir (133), Puri (114) and Keonjhar (105).
As many as 3,42,570 patients have recovered so far, he said.
The state has tested over 95.28 lakh samples for COVID-19, including 31,891 on Thursday.
Odishas positivity rate stands at 3.79 per cent, the data released by the Health and Family Welfare department said.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Dr. CBK Mohanty, said that the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic is infecting youngsters more than elderly people.
'The trend has changed in the second wave as it is spreading faster this time. Since elderly people were mostly infected by the virus in the first phase, antibodies have been created among them,' he said.
During the briefing, state Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra, also indicated that young people are most vulnerable to the infection this time.
Since people below 45 years are not entitled to get vaccines, they are vulnerable to COVID-19. This time, the infection is less among the elderly as senior citizens have been inoculated, a health expert said. PTI AAM SBN -- MM MM