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Home / India News / Odisha’s Covid-19 positivity rate crosses national average, Opposition leaders attack state government over testing

Odisha’s Covid-19 positivity rate crosses national average, Opposition leaders attack state government over testing

The general secretary of BJP’s Odisha unit Golak Mahapatra alleged that the state government has miserably failed in scaling up the daily tests to 15,000 resulting in the current situation.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2020 08:22 IST
Debabrata Mohanty | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi
Debabrata Mohanty | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
The Congress said that total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Odisha would have been more than 1 lakh had the state government done more testing.
The Congress said that total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Odisha would have been more than 1 lakh had the state government done more testing.(HT File Photo)

As Odisha’s Covid-19 positivity rate went past the national average of 6.73% and more and more hospitals turned Covid hotspots, Opposition leaders accused the state government of failing to control the pandemic by not increasing its daily testing.

On Monday, Odisha reported 456 new cases from the 4,827 samples tested indicating a positivity rate of 9.44 per cent, a sharp departure from positivity rate of 4-6 per cent that it reported till July 1. The total number of positive cases in the state shot up to 9,526 and the number of fatalities stand at 38. There are close to 3,000 active cases in the state.

For the third day on Monday, the number of local cases was more than 30 per cent of the total suggesting onset of community transmission. Among the positive cases reported was a BJP MLA, a 70-year-old priest attached to one of the prominent temples in Dhenkanal town, two doctors and a pharmacist working at a community health centre of Ganjam district. The MLA is the first legislator in Odisha to get infected by Covid-19.

The rise in cases came even as Opposition Congress and BJP slammed the state government for falling tests. Senior Congress leader Santosh Singh Saluja said the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Odisha would have been more than 1 lakh had the state government done more testing. “Had all migrant workers who returned from Maharashtra and Gujarat been tested for Covid-19, then we would have known the actual spread of the disease. The government is just picking and choosing few infected people from a large number of people already infected,” said Saluja.

The general secretary of BJP’s Odisha unit Golak Mahapatra alleged that the state government has miserably failed in scaling up the daily tests to 15,000 resulting in the current situation. “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in April had announced that the government would conduct 15,000 Covid-19 tests a day in June. It’s already July, and we are testing arund 4,000-5,000 samples a day,” said Mahapatra.

Referring to Delhi, Mahapatra said increasing testing there brought the situation under control.

BJP’s another general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan also raised questions over the Covid-19 management by the state government saying it had become more bureaucratic which is not yielding any result. “Over last month, we have seen weekly shutdowns. Has it helped bring down the numbers? The state government has just no clue about the spread of the virus,” said Harichandan.

Meanwhile, a Covid-19 positive person escaped from a hospital in Nabarangpur district by scaling the boundary wall. Nabarangpur district collector Ajit Kumar Mishra said the 50-year-old who was brought to the Covid-19 hospital on July 3, went missing on the morning of July 5. “The patient was missing when the hospital staff went to offer him breakfast. A police complaint has been lodged,” he said.

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