BHUBANESWAR: Amid Durga Puja revelry, the daily infection count in the State Capital jumped by 47 per cent in the last 24 hours raising questions over the effectiveness of enforcement measures put in place to deal with the pandemic.
As per Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) statistics, the city reported 234 new cases on Tuesday compared to 159 on Monday.
Though BMC has banned public darshan and gatherings near pandals during Durga Puja and Dussehra, the enforcement teams of BMC and Commissionerate Police have not been able to regulate the festive rush at market places, malls and shopping outlets.
While the extended night curfew has been able to check crowding at markets after 8 pm, social distancing norms are being violated with impunity at public places between 5 am and 8 pm.
The 13 special squads of BMC carrying out the enforcement activities from Monday, have not imposed any major fine on the violators, admitted a senior official the civic body’s enforcement wing.
The concern for the civic body has also mounted after Director of Health Services Bijay Mohapatra said that the State capital where daily cases continue to hover around 200 has recorded a marginal spike in R-value that refers to number of people an infected person infects on average. Sources, however, said that city’s R-value is still below 1 per cent.
Health officials said Khurda of which Bhubaneswar is a part recorded 274 cases in the last 24 hours, nearly 52 per cent of the total cases reported in Odisha during the period. The State reported 529 new cases including 62 in 0 to 18 age group in the last 24 hours.