Odisha’s Covid-19 positivity rate soars, opposition leaders allege low testing
On Monday, Odisha reported 456 new Covid-19 cases from the 4,827 samples tested indicating a positivity rate of 9.44 per cent, a sharp departure from the positivity rate of 4-6 per cent that it reported till July 1.Updated: Jul 06, 2020 23:49 IST
As Odisha’s Covid-19 positivity rate crossed the national positivity rate of 6.73% and more and more hospitals turned into Covid-19 hotspots, opposition leaders accused the state government of failing to control the pandemic by not increasing daily testing.
On Monday, Odisha reported 456 new Covid-19 cases from the 4,827 samples tested indicating a positivity rate of 9.44 per cent, a sharp departure from the positivity rate of 4-6 per cent that it reported till July 1. The total number of Covid-19 positive cases in the state shot up to 9,526 and the state reported 38 deaths. There are close to 3,000 active cases currently.
For the third day today, the number of local cases was more than 30 per cent of the total cases suggesting the 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 a few infected people from a large number of people already infected,” said Saluja.
BJP’s state general secretary 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 around 4000-5000 samples a day,” said Mahapatra.
Referring to Delhi, Mahapatra said increasing testing there has brought the situation under control.
Another BJP 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 results. “Over the 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 Covid-19 hospital of Nabarangpur district by scaling the boundary wall. Nabarangpur district collector, Ajit Kumar Mishra said a 50-year-old patient who was brought to the Covid-19 hospital on July 3, went missing on July 5 morning. “The patient was missing when the hospital staff went to offer him breakfast. A police complaint has been lodged,” he said.