Odisha's COVID-19 tally rises to 5,752 with 282 fresh cases

Bhubaneswar, Jun 24 (PTI) Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 5,752 on Wednesday as 282 more people, including eight NDRF personnel, tested positive for the disease, while the recovery rate in the state touched 71.67 per cent, a health department official said.

Of the fresh cases, 256 were reported from different quarantine centres where people returning from other parts of the country are lodged for preliminary observation. The remaining 26 cases were detected during contact tracing exercise.

Eight National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, who had returned from West Bengal after carrying out restoration work in the wake of Cyclone Amphan, are among the 256 cases reported from quarantine centres, the official said.

Till now, 276 NDRF, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Odisha Fire Service personnel have contracted the virus in the state.

With 135 patients recovering from the highly infectious disease on Wednesday, the number of cured persons has crossed the 4,000-mark.

The total number of cured patients has increased to 4,123, which is 71.67 per cent of the total 5,752 positive cases in the state.

Gajapati district reported the maximum number of fresh cases at 76, followed by 75 in Gajnam, 26 in Khordha and 23 in Jharsuguda.

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the Gajnam district administration said all government offices will remain closed for senior officers starting Wednesday.

Ganjam, which has received the highest number of migrant workers since May 3, has become the state's first district where the COVID-19 tally has crossed the 1,000-mark.

It has reported 1,030 cases so far. While 729 patients have recovered, eight died. There are 293 active cases in the district.

The total number of active cases in Odisha stands at 1,605. The state has reported 17 deaths due to the disease so far.

The state on Tuesday conducted 4,271 tests. So far 2,35,627 samples have been collected, the official said.

The state government has launched a drive to test for COVID-19 around 5,000 people associated with Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra, including servitors, police personnel and municipality staff.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) said it will set up an exclusive health care centre for the families of servitors.

Ahead of the Rath Yatra, a massive sample collection exercise was conducted on Monday night and one servitor had tested positive, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said.

He said a total of 16 people, including his family members, were identified during contact tracing.

Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) sealed a private hospital in the state capital after 27 COVID-19 cases were detected there.

The hospital had allegedly admitted a COVID-19 patient in violation of norms, thereby spreading the virus among its staff and other persons.

Director of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar Ajay Parida said antibody kits approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will reach Odisha by next week.

'The kits will be used for conducting door-to-door COVID-19 tests across the state which will continue till July 31,' Parida said.

State government COVID-19 spokesperson Subroto Bagchi asked people to take special care of elderly persons as they are vulnerable to the virus.

'Of the 17 COVID-19 fatalities reported so far in the state, nine were above 60 years of age.

'Six of the nine elderly persons had not come out of their houses for months together. They died after contracting the infection from other family members who went outside,' he said.

Bagchi suggested that crutches, walking sticks, wheelchairs and mobile phones used by elderly persons should be disinfected regularly. PTI AAM MM DIV DIV