Odisha reports 66 new COVID cases, completes one year of battle against pandemic

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 15 (PTI) Odisha's COVID-19 tally mounted to 3,38,258 after 66 more people tested positive for the virus on Monday, as the state completed one year of its battle against the pandemic, a health department official said.

On March 15, 2020, the state detected its first COVID-19 case, an Italy returned research scholar at the Capital Hospital here, the official said.

There was panic after the state's Chief COVID-19 Spokesperson Subrato Bagchi announced that the first patient had come in contact with 129 people, including 76 train passengers.

The detection of the first coronavirus case followed a series of measures such as shutdown, lockdown, curfew, night curfew and closure of religious places, business establishments and educational institutions.

While 1,918 persons have died of the disease in this one year, as many as 3,35,660 patients, above 99 per cent of the caseload, have also recovered.

A day before the detection of the first COVID-19 case, on March 14, the Odisha government had declared the pandemic as a 'state disaster'.

A week later, the administration announced lockdown in five coastal districts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Subsequently, the lockdown was extended to all 30 districts.

Temporary Medical Camps (TMCs) were set up in each panchayat where people returning from other states and countries underwent mandatory quarantine, a health official said, adding that dedicated COVID-19 hospitals were also set up in the districts.

The state has tested 86.42 lakh samples for COVID-19 till Sunday, the official said.

The number of daily new cases in Odisha surpassed 4,000-mark during June, July and August, and the figure came down to below 100 since February this year. The COVID-19 vaccination commenced in the state on January 16.

Currently, the state has restricted travellers from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Kerala as COVID-19 cases resurged in these five states.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has appealed to the people not to lower guards against COVID-19 as the danger still looms large, though the number of cases has substantially declined.

Meanwhile, 66 people of 13 districts tested positive for the disease on Monday, taking the tally to 3,38,258.

Bargarh district reported 10 cases, followed by Mayurbhanj (8) and Sundergarh (7).

The number of active cases in the state now stands at 627.

The state's coronavirus death toll remained unchanged at 1,918 as no fresh fatalities had been reported since Friday.

The positivity rate of Odisha stands at 3.91 per cent, the data released by the Health and Family Welfare department said. PTI AAM SBN NN NN