BHUBANESWAR: Lockdown across the state and complete weekend shutdown in urban localities notwithstanding, Odisha logged the highest single-day spike of 12,390 new Covid-19 cases and 22 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The number of cases rose by over 16% as tests went up by around 10%. As many as 56214 tests - 19900 RT-PCR - were conducted taking the test positivity rate (TPR) to 22%. On Thursday, it was 51,451 tests with the TPR at 20.7%.
While all 30 districts recorded more than 100 cases each, six districts reported over 500 cases each. With 2,201 fresh cases, the worst-hit Khurda district's daily count crossed the 2000-mark for the first time pushing the active caseload of the district to almost 15000.
What is more worrying are signs the infection is spreading faster in rural areas that lack the required healthcare infrastructure. With many cases going unreported, the share of rural cases is higher in most of the districts except a few like Khurda, Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Angul where the urban areas still dominate the infection tally.
Analysis showed an overall 58% of Covid infections in the state are from the rural hinterlands. While the urban-rural divide during the first wave of the pandemic was 60:40, this time it is 56:44 at the moment.
Of the total 5,76,297 confirmed cases registered in both the waves so far, 3,36,515 were from villages and 2,39,782 from urban localities. As many as 2,00,193 people among the 3,31,862 confirmed cases in the first wave were from villages. In the second wave, 2,44,435 people have tested positive till May 13 and among them 1,36,322 are from rural pockets.
At least 13,480 out of every 10 lakh people in Odisha have tested positive for the virus. In the last one week, the number of new infections has grown by an average of 2% every day in the State.
Barring Malkangiri and Kendrapara, the positivity rate in the rest 28 districts is above 10% and it is above 20% in 14 districts. Angul tops the chart with 34% followed by Khurda at 32.7% and Bargarh 32%.
Health experts insisted that 12,390 cases could be the peak number for Odisha and the wave would now start flattening with a steady decline.
"Though we had earlier predicted that the peak would happen between May 8 to 10, it was delayed by a few days due to lockdown. We have almost reached the peak now. There is all possibility that the graph will plateau with a decline in numbers in the coming weeks," said the additional professor of Indian Institute of Public Health Dr Bhuputra Panda.
The daily toll of 22 was also the highest on a day and took the total number of deaths to 2,273.
Four deaths were recorded in Khurda followed by three in Angul and two each in Kalahandi, Kendrapara, Rayagada and Sundargarh. One each succumbed to the infection in Balangir, Boudh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal. The active case count stood at 94,687.