Coronavirus cases rise in Odisha amid talks of third wave

Fresh infections go up from 3,405 on June 14 to 3,806 in last 24 hrs

Published: 19th June 2021 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2021 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

A health worker collecting swab sample from a woman vendor at Niladri Vihar Tarini Market in Bhubaneswar on Friday | Irfana

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  Amid talks of an impending third wave, Odisha has been witnessing a slight surge in new Covid-19 cases for the last four days. The fresh cases have gone up from 3,405 on June 14 to 3,806 in last 24 hours. The number of infections that had steadily declined from 8,839 on June 2 to 4,339 on June 13 saw a sharp fall next day as the case count dropped by 21.5 per cent (pc) in a day. Thereafter, the cases are rising further with the coastal region contributing majorly to the tally.

Of the new infections, including 2,172 from quarantine, Khurda reported the highest 617 cases followed by 393 from Cuttack, 346 from Jajpur, 220 from Balasore and 200 from Puri.  Health department sources said the Covid-19 graph nosedived from 11,623 cases on May 25 to 6,736 cases on May 26 when the Cyclone Yaas hit the Odisha coast leading to less number of tests. The testing had dipped from 69,407 to 46,241 on the landfall day.

There had been no significant growth in the number of cases barring 9,541 infections on May 29. The test positivity rate (TPR) had also fallen sharply from a range of 23.5 pc to around six pc now. While the health officials insisted that the recent rise in cases was due to accelerated testing, health experts warned that the influx of people into markets leading to crowding during lockdown relaxation period is risky as the fear of a third wave still looming large.

“Although Odisha is witnessing a decline in active cases and new cases have come down below 5000, it is not the time to celebrate. Going by the unrestricted movement of people on the first day of unlocking, we should not be surprised if cases go up again. We will be inviting the third wave earlier than expected if we do not follow precautions,” pointed out noted microbiologist Dr Tribhuban Mohan Mohapatra.

The experts attributed the decline in cases earlier this week to fall in testing. The numbers came down from a range of around 68,000 tests to 58,000 a couple of days back. Though it has again gone up to 64,000, they demanded that the State should continue to conduct more than 70,000 tests a day with 50 pc RT-PCR till the end of the year.

There has been no let up in fatalities as 37 more patients succumbed to the virus taking the death toll to 3,508. Cuttack, Jharsuguda and Kalahandi reported four deaths each while Bargarh, Bhubaneswar, Puri and Sundargarh registered three deaths each.  Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said the focus now has turned to coastal districts where the situation is still a reason of concern. Measures are being taken to control the spread, he added.


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