BHUBANESWAR: Odisha reported over 3000 new COVID-19 cases for the second consecutive day pushing the active cases past 19,000 in a fortnight. The state logged 3144 cases and four fatalities in the last 24 hours.
The death of four COVID patients in a day was the highest in over three months. The last time four people succumbed to the highly infectious disease was on December 23 when 263 people had also tested positive.
Health department sources said of the fresh cases, 1823 were detected among suspects undergoing quarantine and 1321 were local infections. Sundargarh, Khurda and Nuapada continued to remain as areas of concern for the state administration apart from other districts bordering Chhattisgarh and urban pockets of Cuttack, Balasore, Puri and Keonjhar.
New clusters emerged at industrial townships in the state with a sizable population of migrant workers from states like West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Nine districts had more than 100 new infections each and seven had over 50 cases each. Sundargarh registered the maximum 523 cases, followed by Khurda (497), Nuapada (395), Bargarh (156), Sambalpur (149), Cuttack (140), Puri (129), Keonjhar (128) and Jharsuguda (119).
Ten districts having proximity with Chhattisgarh put together 1605 cases contributing 52% of the daily caseload. The state conducted 37,245 tests, up from 31,891 tests a day before, bringing down the test positivity rate from 9.7% to 8.44%.
Three men aged 38, 50 and 62 and a woman aged 60, all having comorbidities, succumbed to the disease taking the death toll to 1,942. The fatalities were reported from Balangir, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi and Sambalpur. Of the 3,64,594 confirmed cases, 3,43,522 patients have recovered so far.
The state government has imposed a weekend shutdown from Saturday in urban areas of the 10 districts to restrict movement of people that would ultimately help break the chain. A night curfew from 9 pm to 5 am in urban localities in the remaining 20 districts has also been clamped beginning from Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has appealed to people not to lower their guard. "The fight against COVID-19 is at a critical stage. Let's all continue to follow COVID protocols and maintain social distancing. Let us fight the second wave of the pandemic with the same spirit and determination as earlier," he said.