BHUBANESWAR: With 1,602 fresh Covid-19 cases, a new high, detected from 29 districts in the last 24 hours, Odisha’s COVID tally reached 33,479. The State reported 26,163 cases and 192 coronavirus related deaths in July at an average of 844 cases and six deaths a day. July has been the most crucial so far as an analysis of the COVID infections revealed 78 per cent (pc) of the total confirmed cases was recorded in the month. Earlier, biggest single day spike was 1594 on July 23 and 1503 on July 26.
Of the fresh 1602 cases, 993 were in quarantine and 609 local contacts. Over 50 pc infections were detected from four districts with worst hit Ganjam contributing maximum 308 cases, followed by Khurda (285), Rayagada (164) and Gajapati (108). As many as 14,135 samples were tested in the last 24 hours and the positivity rate stands at 11.33 pc.
While the caseload in Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur, which were COVIDhotspots at the beginning of infection in the State, has come down considerably, emergence of new clusters in Gajapati, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts has added to the woes. According to the Health department, Gajapati, Koraput and Rayagada districts have recorded over 90 pc of their cases in July itself.
Balasore was the latest addition to the list of seven districts having more than 1000 confirmed cases. The district registered 29 new cases mostly in home quarantine. Eleven more Covid-19 patients died in Odisha taking the death toll to 225. The Health department, however, attributed the death of 38 patients to other underlying diseases.
Pvt hospitals allowed to conduct COVIDtests
The State Government on Saturday issued a set of guidelines for private hospitals, nursing homes and laboratories that are conducting rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests. The private healthcare units will have to be registered under the Odisha Clinical Establishment (Control and Regulation) Act and must have a dedicated and isolated swab collection booth near their premises.
As per the new guideline, the labs will have to upload the results in ICMR portal and intimate the result of antigen tests to the State authorities first. The person concerned will be informed after 24 hours. Similarly, the NABL accredited labs conducting RT-PCR tests will have to deploy the manpower properly trained by ICMR approved in institutions like RMRC and AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.
Stringent action will be taken if any lab or hospital found charging more than the prescribed testing price, the notification warned. Government has fixed Rs 450 for antigen test and Rs 2200 for RT-PCR test.