BHUBANESWAR: The new COVID-19 cases surged again as Odisha ramped up testing after the cyclone. As many as 9,541 more people tested positive and 33 succumbed to the disease in last 24 hours. Of the fresh cases, 5,343 were in quarantine and the rest detected during contact tracing.
Khurda district continued to remain at the top with 1,342 cases followed by Cuttack (716), Mayurbhanj (695), Sundargarh (595), Angul (562) and Puri (528).
Apart from the six districts that recorded more than 500 cases, the districts which are emerging as areas of concern include Jajpur, Bhadrak, Boudh, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Dhenkanal and Koraput.
The infection is expected to explode in Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Balasore that have been affected by cyclone Yaas.
New clusters are emerging from the areas where people were evacuated to cyclone shelter ahead of the storm.
Health experts advised the State government to ramp up testing in these districts as no COVID protocol and social distancing were followed in the shelters where people spent over 24 hours. Thousands of people are yet to return to their houses as several villages are still marooned.
Sources said more than 25 villages in four coastal districts have been declared containment zones following detection of new cases in the aftermath of the cyclone. The State has conducted 66,057 tests, including 47,487 rapid antigen, bringing down the test positivity rate (TPR) to 14.5 per cent (pc). Boudh has the highest TPR of 54 per cent.
"Even as the rate of infection is declining in western Odisha, the focus should now be on coastal districts apart from Khurda, Cuttack, Angul and Dhenkanal. The TPR is low because the share of antigen tests is high," leading microbiologist Dr Tribhuban Mohan Mohapatra pointed out.
However, health authorities claimed the overall TPR has declined from 22 pc in the second week of May to 14.5 pc in this week.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) PK Mohapatra said the positivity rate is coming down in 19 districts and it is less than 10 per cent in five districts and below five pc in three districts. "Khurda, Cuttack, Puri, Jajpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Bargarh and Sundargarh districts accounted for 60 per cent of the active cases," he added.
66,057 tests conducted
TPR came down to 14.5 per cent
Boudh has highest TPR of 54 per cent
It is less than 10 pc in five districts