BERHAMPUR: Facing another spike in Covid cases, the Ganjam administration on Wednesday closed all religious institutions and public places across the district till May 15. District Collector Vijay Kulange said religious places, parks, beaches, playgrounds and lakes in Ganjam will remain closed in view of the prevailing Covid situation.
However, priests will be allowed to perform rituals in temples in absence of devotees. The Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) Commissioner, SDM, tehsildar, BDOs and executive officers of NACs will look after the enforcing of norms in their respective jurisdictions.
In the last 24 hours, Ganjam reported 151 new positive cases, the highest single day spike since the second Covid wave gripped the district. Amid the case surge, five Covid deaths were also reported from MKCG Medical College and Hospital (MCH) here on the day.
Though bodies of the victims have been sent to Nilakantheswar crematorium, the authorities are yet to confirm if the deaths were due to Covid-19 or other ailments. The district, which was in news last year for being the coronavirus hotspot of Odisha, is once again battling with shortage of beds at the dedicated Covid facilities in MKCGMCH, City hospital and Ashwini hospital. Sources said arrival of patients from adjoining districts has further burdened the health infrastructure of Ganjam.
To tide over the bed crisis, the district administration has asked authorities of Hi-Tech MCH to make the Tata Covid hospital at Sitalpali functional. The facility has 158 beds apart from 55 ICU beds. This apart, 112 teams comprising ANMs, anganwadi and ASHA workers have ben formed to carry out door-to-door screening of residents. The teams will visit households to conduct thermal screening and check oxygen level of people.