By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 25, 2020: In a bid to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, Odisha government has been carrying out active surveillance in slums the state.

Dozens of slums in different urban clusters of the state are now in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Active surveillance is being carried out in slums. Four slums have been declared as containment zone,” said Women and Child Development Secretary Anu Garg, who is observer for Bhubaneswar.

Ms. Garg said active surveillance was being done in slums to know symptoms and presence of outsiders as per the slum strategy of the BMC.

On Monday, 45 persons had tested positive for the virus in the Mahishakhal slum near BJB Nagar area while 20 cases were detected in the Sitapur slum in Nayapalli areas. Two days later 65 persons were found infected with virus in two slums. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation on Saturday assured people not to panic.

Though 49 of the 111 cases (about 44%) in Bhubaneswar city were described as local cases and many of these pertained to slums, the administration said an action plan was put in place to tackle the crisis.

As of now, 1,828 cases have been reported from Bhubaneswar. After recovery of 863 patients, the active cases stood at 952.

Similarly in Penthakata – largest slum of fishermen community in Puri town, 43 positive cases have been detected. The district administration has started efforts to enforce social distancing. Four wards, where 5,000 families live, have been declared containment zone.

The Puri district administration is conducting drone surveillance of Penthakata to identify violation of social distancing and containment restriction measures. The Balangir administration has, however, brought the situation under control at the Laxmijor Khandi slum where 61 positive cases were detected since June 30.

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