By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, May 13, 2020: Odisha on Wednesday recorded its biggest single-day spike in Covid-19 cases with 101 new Covid-19 infections pushing the total number of coronavirus cases in the state to 538. Three people have so far died of the disease in the state.

Incidentally, of 101 new cases, 91 were migrant workers who had returned from Surat in Gujarat or West Bengal and have been staying in quarantine centres, according to the health and family welfare department officials.

Ganjam district continues to be the hot spot recording 52 case taking the total number of cases to 210. Balasore accounted for 33 new cases while Jajpur had 7 new cases.

Incidentally, Odisha had registered its first 100 Covid cases in 42 days, but the next 400 cases were identified in just 15 days with more and more migrant workers returning the state after the national lockdown. Till Wednesday, an estimated 80, 000 migrant workers had arrived in Odisha with another 4.5 lakh waiting to arrive.

The first Covid-19 case in Ganjam was detected on May 2 and by May 13, Ganjam added more than 209 cases as more and more people from Surat returned by trains, buses and other modes of transport.

Officials said, migrants from Surat, a Covid hotspot have been the biggest source of corona infection in Odisha followed by migrants from Bengal, another Covid hotspot. Of the 538 cases, more than 230 are Surat returnees while another 150 would be those returning from Bengal.

Fears of community transmission in Ganjam began after several migrant workers kept in the district’s quarantine centres fled last week while in other cases their near and dear were found to be loitering around the quarantine centres delivering food and other items. Odisha Assembly Speaker Surya Patro too alleged that some of the persons kept in quarantine centres were sneaking out to be with their family members at night.

However, Ganjam district Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said community transmission has not started in the district and steps are being taken to avoid it. Apart from the sharp rise in positive cases in Ganjam, health department officials are worried over the possibility of the Surat returnees carrying the L-type strain of coronavirus that was originally found in China’s Wuhan and is known for showing Covid symptoms in patients. Unlike Covid positive cases in other districts, over 90 per cent of the cases detected in Ganjam cases have been symptomatic.

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