Odisha’s COVID fatality has reached 21 while the State’s virus load mounts to 6,614 while recovery rate remains above 71 per cent on Sunday.
Though the State Government do not agree over the case of community transmission of the disease in Odisha, there should be no doubt about “Slum” transmission of the highly infectious disease.
The slums like Subhas Nagar, Salia Sahi and in Unit-8 area have emerged as the cause of concern for the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) which has set up committees to implement measures to contain the spread.
There are about 250 slums in Bhubaneswar which house 33 per cent of the State Capital’s population. Therefore, the focus is on slums in Bhubaneswar and other places as people keep visiting slums from different high load districts.
As anticipated, the month of June has turned out to be critical for the State after return of over 5 lakh migrant workers, movement of trains and buses.
This is not that that the number of positive cases has been doubled in June, but also the casualty.
Three more persons succumbed to the disease on Sunday. The deceased persons include a 73-year-old man from Bhubaneswar, who was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney ailments; a 65-year-old man from Cuttack and a 75-year-old man from Ganjam, both of whom had diabetes and hypertension, the official said.
As many as 137 patients recovered from the highly infectious disease on Sunday, taking the number of cured persons to 4,743, which is 71.71 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases in the state.
The State has 1,843 active cases. The toll due to coronavirus in Ganjam district has increased to 10, followed by Khurda (five), Cuttack (four) and Bargarh and Puri (one each), the official said.
The State had reported its first COVID-19 fatality in Bhubaneswar on April 6.
Besides, seven other COVID-19 patients had died earlier but the cause of their deaths was attributed to other ailments, he said.
Of the 264 fresh cases recorded from 23 districts, 234 were reported from quarantine centres where returnees from other states are housed, while 30 others had come in contact with COVID-19 patients, he said.
Districts that reported a high number of fresh cases are Ganjam (76), Jajpur (41), Keonjhar (25), Bargarh and Jharsuguda (18 each), Mayurbhanj and Khurda (15 each) and Balasore (12), the official said.
As many frontline functionaries, including health workers, police, panchayati raj institution members, are getting infected, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished them speedy recovery.
The Chief Minister in a statement said that sincerity and dedicated services of frontline "COVID warriors" to make the life of other safe are beyond comparison.
"Their sacrifice is unlimited. Wishing early recovery of ailing COVID Warriors," Mr.Patnaik said, adding that Odisha has to show its commitment and unity to the world in such a situation.
"Everybody has to be careful and self-disciplined on their part to win the battle against COVID-19 and that will be the true respect to the COVID Warriors", he said.
Mr.Patnaik's statement came after 17 frontline workers in Ganjam and two nurses in Cuttack tested positive for the disease on Sunday.
A 46-year-old policeman also tested positive in Cuttack, a Health department official said.
He said 129 frontline workers have tested positive for COVID-19 during a span of 11 days in Ganjam district alone.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporations of Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Cuttack and Khurda have declared separate containment zones in their respective jurisdictions.
Odisha has tested 2,55,809 samples for COVID-19 so far, including 5,907 in the last 24 hours, the official added.
While replying a quary of reporters on community transmission,. former Director of AIIMS, Ashok Mahapatra said that it’s difficult to confirm now. However, it may not be ruled out if the people remain callous.
“The State may be moving towards community transmission but no one can 100 per cent confirm it. However, if people don’t follow the guidelines, Odisha will definitely move towards community transmission,” Prof.Mohapatra said.
He supported the weekend shutdown as those having no office works should stay indoors.