(Eds: Adds details) Bhubaneswar, Aug 22 (PTI) Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 75,537 on Saturday with the detection of 2,819 fresh infections, while nine more fatalities pushed its coronavirus death toll to 399, a health official said.
Three fresh fatalities were registered in Cuttack, two in Sundargarh and one each in Bolangir, Ganjam, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts, he said.
The fresh COVID-19 cases were reported from 29 of the 30 districts of the state.
Khurda, under which Bhubaneswar falls, registered the highest number of fresh infections at 443, followed by Cuttack (257), Mayurbhanj (219) and Ganjam (192), the official said.
Ruling BJD's Lok Sabha MP from Bhadrak, Manjulata Mandal, and former lawmaker and BJP leader Jayram Pangi from Koraput were among the new patients, he said.
As many as 1,773 more people were cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 52,277.
The recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients in the state is now 69.20 per cent, the official said, adding the fatality rate has slightly dipped to 0.52 per cent.
The fresh infections have pushed the number of active cases in the state to 22,808.
The state has tested 12,33,805 samples for COVID-19 so far, including 61,379 on Friday, he said.
Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar has regained Odisha's coronavirus hotspot tag with 2,754 active cases.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said the infection is at its peak in the Odisha capital.
'A high number of fresh infections being reported daily in the state capital show that COVID-19 has reached its peak stage in Bhubaneswar,' BMC Commissioner P C Chaudhury said.
Citing serology survey findings, he said antibody prevalence in Bhubaneswar is low as compared to other major cities in the country.
The sero surveillance conducted in Bhubaneswar last month showed that antibody prevalence in the Odisha Capital is at 1.24 per cent, compared to 31 per cent in Ganjam district's Berhampur.
He, however, claimed there are adequate numbers of hospital beds and other essential requirements for the patients.
'Around 38 per cent of the beds available in Bhubaneswar are occupied by local patients, while 21 per cent beds are for patients from other districts. Around 29 per cent of the city's patients are in home isolation,' Chaudury said.
He said the detection of more cases could be due to aggressive testing besides opening up of economic activities in Bhubaneswar.
Around 3,000 samples are being tested every day with a positivity rate of around 10 per cent, he said.
The BMC commissioner, however, cautioned people that the next one month will be crucial in the fight against COVID-19.
'People have to remain alert and ride out the period with caution so that the curve flattens quickly,' he said.
'The BMC is planning to allow around 50 per cent of the patients to remain in home quarantine as around 80 per cent patients are asymptomatic and do not need hospital care,' Chaudhury said.
As per data released by the Health Department, Bhubaneswar has more active cases (2,754) than Ganjam district (1,729), which was till now referred to as the Odisha's COVID-19 hotspot.
The first COVID-19 case in Odisha was detected in Bhubaneswar on March 15. It also reported the first coronavirus fatality in the state on April 6.
However, Ganjam had emerged as the COVID-19 hotspot in the state after a large number of migrant workers returned to the district from other states during the lockdown. PTI AAM ACD ACD