Odisha’s daily Covid-19 cases dip below 2000, but protocol violations continue unabated
On Monday, the state reported 1982 new Covid-19 cases from 38,740 samples, more than two months after the daily positive cases started surging beyond 2000. On August 13, Odisha had reported 1977 positive cases. But the next day it touched 2496 and kept on growing.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 00:54 IST
For the first time in about 2 months, the number of new Covid-19 cases reported daily in Odisha dropped below the 2000-mark signifying a decline in transmission of the infection but health officials said the cumulative positivity rate of the state continued to be a matter of concern as it was still higher than several states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar.
On Monday, the state reported 1982 new Covid-19 cases from 38,740 samples, more than two months after the daily positive cases started surging beyond 2000. On August 13, Odisha had reported 1977 positive cases. But the next day it touched 2496 and kept on growing till it touched the highest single-day surge of 4,356 cases on September 25 after which it started declining gradually even as the daily positivity rate took some time to taper off.
Though on Monday the daily positivity rate was 5.11 per cent, the cumulative positivity rate of 6.62 per cent was way above states like Bihar (2.5%), Gujarat (3.3%), Jharkhand (3.7%), Uttar Pradesh (3.7%), Himachal Pradesh (5.1%), Rajasthan (5.3%) and Assam (5.8%). However, Odisha’s cumulative positivity rate was below the national average of 8.04%.
Additional chief secretary of Odisha’s health and family welfare department, Pradipta Mohapatra said though the total numbers are falling, the Durga Puja as well as a lackadaisical attitude towards social distancing and mask-wearing remained a matter of concern.
“Most of the European countries are reporting more cases than India and US. France is under lockdown due to lack of adherence to Covid-19 guidelines. In India, the celebration of Onam led to a Covid-19 surge in Kerala. Though winter would not be a major concern for us, we are worried about possible resurgence during Durga Puja. We have instructed the district collectors to remain alert and keep doing as many tests as possible to get a zero positivity rate,” Mohapatra said.
Officials said the rise in Covid-19 guidelines over the last few days was an indicator of the challenges that the state would face in controlling the epidemic. On Sunday, a bar-cum-restaurant in Bhubaneswar was sealed by the police after it was found that a birthday party being organised violated the guidelines. Similarly, a coaching institute in the city was sealed for organizing a get-together of over 50 students and their parents who had qualified in the NEET exam.
On Saturday, 3 temples in Berhampur town of Ganjam district were sealed on charges of flouting Covid-19 protocols on the first day of Navratri Puja. The officials sealed Maa Kali Temple near Bijipur, Bijipur Thakurani Temple and Ganesh Temple after hundreds of people attended the Navratri ceremony violating Covid-19 restrictions. A shopping mall in Aska block of Ganjam district was sealed after hundreds of people were found inside the mall flouting social distancing norms and mandatory use of masks.
“We hope people would help the police in maintaining social distance. Already 8,000 policemen including more than a dozen IPS officials have been infected by Covid-19. We have lost 41 police officials and 4 home guards to Covid-19. But despite the risk, our staff are trying their best to ensure that everyone follows Covid-19 guidelines,” said a senior police official.