CUTTACK: With Cuttack reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, the district administration has gone back to declaring affected areas in Athagarh and Kantapada as containment zones to arrest the spread of the infection. The Cuttack sub-collector on Saturday declared Nuasahi (Khandasailo) village of Badapatasundarpur panchayat in Kantapada block as a containment zone after 14 villagers tested positive for Covid-19 with one succumbing to the infection.
As per the order, the containment restriction will remain in force from 6 am on Saturday to 6 pm on January 4. Sources said a 40-year-old man of Nuasahi, who was working in a petrol pump outside the district, had returned home with fever a few days back. On December 22, he tested positive following which he was admitted to a Covid hospital in Bhubaneswar. After undergoing treatment for four days, he succumbed on Saturday.
“Since the area requires comprehensive contact tracing, it is desirable to make the area a containment zone to prohibit free ingress and egress in larger public interest,” said the order while asking the shops and commercial establishments in the locality to down their shutters during the same period. The district administration, however, has stated that it will make necessary arrangements for supply of medicines and other essential items to the residents inside the containment zone.
During the period, the swab samples of family members of the infected persons will be sent for test and contact tracing will be intensified, said a health official. Similarly, Athagarh BDO Arun Kumar Das on Thursday declared Paikarapur village as containment zone for five days after nine positive cases were detected from the area.
Lack of enforcement and gross violation of Covid guidelines are said to be the reason behind the resurgence of Covid cases in Cuttack’s rural pockets. On Saturday, the district reported 26 fresh cases including 12 from Kantapada block. On Friday, 29 cases were detected.
4 more UK returnees test positive in State
Bhubaneswar: Four more UK returnees and their relatives tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday taking the total cases to six. As per report, father of the four-year-old girl who had tested positive on Friday was diagnosed with the infection. The 39-year-old man had first tested negative at a private lab but another confirmatory test at a government lab found him infected. Besides, two returnees, both men, aged 38 and 39 from Jagatsinghpur district have tested positive.
They have been shifted to Covid hospital for treatment. So far, 102 samples have been collected. Though the new strain is yet to be found in the samples of UK returnees in Odisha, research laboratories in the State are getting prepared for genome sequencing tests. As decided by the National Task Force for Covid-19, at least five per cent of samples which have tested positive in December and January will be sequenced as part of routine genomic surveillance to trace different strains and ascertain their mutations.
Ten national level research laboratories, including Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar have been designated for genome sequencing in the country. It has also been selected among the six labs for sequencing of the new UK strain. Sources said the ILS has been tasked to conduct the sequencing of samples collected from the east zone comprising Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. “Although the number of samples to be studied has not been finalised, preliminarily it has been decided that 700 to 800 positive samples will be sequenced per month at ILS,” said a senior health official.