Sero-survey launched in Ganjam, Rayagada, Koraput
Bhubaneswar: Odisha on Thursday recorded 3,631 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally to 8,66,692, while 39 fresh fatalities raised the toll to 3,471, a senior Health department official here said. Lockdown curbs were eased across the State, starting 5 am, after taking into consideration the average test positivity rate (TPR) which has dropped to 5.72 per cent.
Districts reporting below 10 per cent TPR were given more relaxations. Seventeen districts were granted permission to run shops selling essential items between 6 am and 5 pm, and the remaining 13 have been asked to ensure that the shutters were pulled down by 1 pm. According to official statistics, Jajpur district reported the highest TPR at 23.5 per cent.
As many as 8,17,359 patients, including 5,579, on Wednesday recovered from the highly infectious disease thus far. The number of active cases in the State fell from 47,796 on Wednesday to 45,809. Of the 3,631 new cases, 2,069 were registered in quarantine units and the rest detected during contact tracing.
Khurda district, of which the State capital Bhubaneswar is a part, reported the maximum number of new cases at 506, followed by Cuttack at 438 and Jajpur at 305. The Health department said, “Regret to inform the demise of 39 Covid patients while under treatment in hospitals.” Six deaths were reported from Khurda district, four each from Cuttack, Jharsuguda, Puri and Sundargarh, and three each from Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur and Kalahandi. Over 1.28 crore samples have been tested in the State thus far, including 63,421 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, officials of the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), a unit of the ICMR, in association with the Health department, launched sero-survey in the districts of Ganjam, Rayagada and Koraput, as part of its nationwide initiative to assess the prevalence of antibodies in people for fighting COVID-19. Official sources said 10 clusters have been selected in each district for sample collection. “For the first time, we have included children in the age group of 6 to 14 years in the survey,” Dr Sanghamitra Pati, Director of RMRC-Bhubaneswar, said.
In a related development, the State Government, abiding by a new directive of the Health Ministry, has included ration cards with photograph as one of the identity proofs for verification of beneficiaries during COVID-19 vaccination.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health department, Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, in a letter, has asked all district collectors and municipal corporation commissioners to inform programme officers about the inclusion.