By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, July 23, 2020: Odisha is now feeling the heat of Covid-19 pandemic with the highest single day surge of 1264 cases reported in last 24 hours. This is the second time when it reported more than 1000 cases.

The pandemic is on the rise in the state even as state government continues to insist that the situation in Odisha was better than other states. The state took 114 days to record its first 10,000 cases where as it took just 15 days to register the next 10,000 cases.

Of the 1,264 cases, 540 were reported from Ganjam district alone where over 99 per cent of the cases were reported from local community while in Khurda district a record 137 cases were reported fuelled by large number of infections in a flour mill. In Bhubaneswar, 61 workers in a flour mill have tested positive in last 2 days.

Additional chief secretary of health department, PK Mohapatra attributed aggressive testing for the rising numbers of cases. “No State has been able to reverse the trend of the rising number of cases. We are chasing the virus from house to house. That is why cases are increasing in Odisha. The Covid recovery rate in the State is 65% and case fatality rate is 0.54%. We have 37.20 per cent of beds in Covid treatment facilities across Odisha are occupied. The district collectors have been asked to make an assessment of their medical infrastructure requirement for next 5 months,” Mohapatra remarked.

He urged for home isolation of asymptomatic patients both in rural and urban areas saying that over 70% cases reported in Odisha are asymptomatic. “Odisha government has a stock of 4 lakh antigen kits and enough stock of PPEs, sanitizers and medicine for at least four months. “We are conducting RT-PCR tests in 19 labs and would add 6 more labs. The focus is on both RT-PCR and antigen tests,” he said.

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation once again asserted that there was little risk of community transmission of the virus as the first round of sero-surveillance showed community level exposure to SARS Cov2 very low. Of the 951 samples drawn by ICMR in Bhubaneswar as part of its sero survey, only 1.42 per cent had exposure to the virus. Implying that large scale transmission has probably not occurred in the city.

The total case have shot up to 21,099. The surge in cases and comparative lower recovery meant the recovery rate has now come down to 65 per cent from more than 70% a week ago.

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