Odisha’s Covid-19 cases double in a week as migrant workers return from Surat
The surge in Covid-19 positive cases in Odisha since last week continued unabated with 83 more people testing positive on Sunday the largest single-day spike as the migrant workers from Gujarat and other States pushed the state towards becoming a coronavirus hotspot.
With 83 testing positive, all of whom were migrant workers barring one, the total number of positive cases in Odisha touched 377, more than double from 163 cases just a week ago.
The steepest rise came on the day the state reported its third Covid-19 death, after officials said a 40-year-old man of Ganjam district who had returned from Surat on May 6 and was quarantined in Dhunkapada grampanchayat and later died on May 8 had tested positive after his death.
The situation in Ganjam district, the epicentre of Covid-19, seems to be spiralling with 125 cases reported in less than a week. All the 125 people who tested positive had returned from Surat. A seven-member team including director of health services and representatives from WHO, Indian Council of Medical Research and Regional Medical Research Centre is currently visiting Ganjam to assist the district administration in containment, surveillance and medical response.
The other Covid-19 hotspots that have become headache for the State government are Jajpur district (60 cases), Balasore (42) and Bhadrak (31). Among the 377 who tested positive, 290 had come from Surat and Bengal, the two biggest sources of Covid-19 cases in Odisha followed by 41 with Nizamuddin links.
So far infections have been reported in 21 of the 30 districts.
With the migrants inflating the Covid-19 positive cases in the state, officials were worried by the prospect of cases ballooning in the next couple of weeks as 4-5 lakh more migrants are likely to arrive in Odisha.
So far, 57,000-odd migrants have returned to Odisha from other States of which Ganjam alone accounted for over 32,000 returnees.
What has added to the worries of the district administration is people jumping quarantine. Odisha Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro on Sunday alleged that migrants are slipping out of quarantine centres at night to be with their family members even as the officials said those violating quarantine norms would be arrested.