Odisha logs 561 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, biggest single-day spike
Of the 561 new cases, 425 were from quarantine centres while 136 were local cases.Updated: Jul 03, 2020 20:16 IST
Odisha reported its biggest single-day surge of 561 Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases past the 8,000-mark as the state government enforced weekend shutdowns in 18 of the 30 districts from July 4.
Of the 561 new cases, 425 were from quarantine centres while 136 were local cases. Ganjam, the Covid-19 hotspot district reported 283 cases, followed by 81 in Cuttack and 76 in Rayagada. Two more Covid-19 positive persons with co-morbidity conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, also died of the disease taking the death toll to 29 in the state.
Health and Family Welfare department sources said of the 561 cases, 77 cases were detected from three premier hospitals - 55 from Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer in Cuttack and 11 each from SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack and AIIMS-Bhubaneswar. In Acharya Harihar Post Graduate Institute of Cancer, 18 patients tested coronavirus positive.
In the southern district of Rayagada, 74 cases were detected from a village in Gunupur sub-division area. District collector Pramod Behera said the 74 in Bijaypur village who tested positive were infected by a 3-member family of superspreaders who had returned from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu last month. The family then infected 13 others taking the total infection in the village to 90.
As cases continued to surge in the districts despite weekend shutdowns in 11 of the districts, including Ganjam and Khurda, in June, the state government has now decided to enforce it in 18 districts that now account for 84 per cent of the total cases. The districts where weekend shutdown will be enforced in July are Ganjam, Gajapati, Cuttack, Khordha, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Rayagada, Nayagarh, Kandhamal, Bolangir, Koraput, Kendrapara, Bargarh and Dhenkanal.
Any person violating the weekend shutdowns will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.
In addition to the weekend shutdowns, some districts announced additional restrictions. In Dhenkanal district, known for its Shiva shrines, the collector banned entry of the devotees/Kaudias in various Shiv temples during the month of Shravan, The Koraput district allowed opening of shops and business establishments between 7 am and 2 pm. Ganjam has banned non-essential vehicular movement till July 31 as a precautionary measure to stem the rise in cases. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation prohibited labourers belonging to hotspot states or districts from working in the industrial, construction, hotels/hospitality sector till July 31.
For Odisha, the surge of cases has been a major worry as they are peaking despite lockdown and shutdowns. In Odisha, the first 1000 cases were recorded in 65 days, while the last 1000 cases were reported in just four days.
The weekend shutdowns have not led to any dramatic change in the Covid-19 cases count as the month of June saw cases double in the 11 districts where shutdown was in place. In the 11 districts, the cases doubled from 2142 to 4887 during the shutdown period. On Friday, the Ganjam district administration tweeted a photo of people congregating in a place without wearing masks following which Covid spokesperson Subroto Bagchi said if any citizen neglects his/her life or other’s life, the government will be forced to take tough and bold steps.
“When the night curfew started at 7 PM people used to crowd at the shops at 5 PM as if it was ‘Bali Jatra’, now even after the government relaxed the timing people are still crowding the shops in a similar manner at 7 PM.
“You and I, we all have a responsibility not to put life in peril. If we continue with our irresponsible behaviour, the government will be forced to take more stringent steps than earlier, there should be no doubt in that,” said Bagchi.
The Covid spokesperson said anyone with Covid-19 symptoms will be sent to Covid care centres where they will be tested, and if found positive, the persons would be shifted to Covid hospital. To find out the spread of the disease, the government has started a 45-day door-to-door surveillance programme with the help of ASHA workers.
“In case the person is found negative, but has symptoms, he or she will remain in home quarantine. Trace, test and treat is the principle of this survey. Be responsible citizens and cooperate with the government,” he said on the day Odisha conducted 6851 tests.