Odisha reports 170 new COVID cases, highest spike in 45 days

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 24 (PTI) Odisha's COVID-19 caseload on Wednesday went up to 3,39,246 after 170 more people tested positive for the virus, the highest daily spike in the last 45 days, a health department official said.

Of the 170 new cases, 99 were reported from quarantine centres, while the remaining 71 were detected during contact tracing, the official said.

The fresh cases included 27 from Nuapada district, 23 each from Cuttack and Khurda districts and 22 from Sundergarh district.

The state's coronavirus death toll remained unchanged at 1,919 as no new fatalities were reported since Monday.

Besides, 53 other COVID-19 patients have died due to comorbidities, he said.

Currently, the number of active cases stands at 1,008, while 3,36,266 patients have recovered.

The state has so far conducted over 88.61 lakh sample tests for COVID-19, including 25,829 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, keeping in view the recent spike in COVID- 19 cases in the state, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has decided to keep the 12th-century shrine in Puri closed for a day in a week for disinfection of the premises.

The exact day on which the weekly closure will be implemented is yet to be decided and the SJTA has sought the state government's permission in this regard, SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said.

The administration of Lord Jagannath's temple in Puri is under the law department of the state government and the SJTA, which is responsible for the management of the shrine, is headed by a senior IAS officer.

After reopening the temple for the public after nine months in December 2020, the SJTA used to keep the temple closed for a day a week for disinfection. However, the curb was later lifted after the situation improved, an official said. PTI AAM SBN NN NN