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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar:  At a time when the country is struggling with a COVID-19 cure rate of around 8.7 per cent, Odisha today dropped a bombshell. The State Health Department today claimed except two novel coronavirus positive patients, soon other 35 active cases will see a closure in the State.

Speaking to media today, National Health Mission (NHM) director Shalini Pandit claimed very soon all but two Covid-19 positives in the State will be discharged. They are now asymptomatic, she said and added that as 80 per cent of Covid-19 positives in Odisha are asymptomatic, the recovery is quite faster.

And if Odisha, indeed, brings about this miracle of 94 per cent cure rate, then it will become the first State in the country to have such a high cure rate.

Now, consider the current scenario nationally. As on today Odisha has a cure rate of 24 per cent. Odisha figures among the top 5-state in the country having a cure rate of over 20 per cent.  The top five states having high cure rate in the country are: Chhattisgarh (50%), Chandigarh (38%), Kerala (33.8%), Odisha (24%) and Himachal Pradesh (21%), as per data available with Union Health Ministry and other state governments.

However, the rider here is neighbouring Chhattisgarh's cure rate of 50 per cent on Covid-19 scoreboard cannot be taken as a trend, because the coronavirus positives detected are only a handful (18). Similar is the case of Chandigarh, where total positives stood at 18 only.

Therefore, statistically significant cure rate of 33.8 per cent is recorded by Kerala, because the state has recorded a high of 364 positives and the count of cured stood at 123.

In the instance of Odisha, the State has neither reported a miniscule of Covid-19 cases nor the cases are as high as Kerala. However, as the total positives in Odisha stood at 50, the cure rate of 24 per cent cannot be termed as statistically insignificant.

Moreover, as per NHM director Shalini Pandit's statement, a high of 80 per cent of total Covid-19 positives in Odisha are asymptomatic. There have been only mild symptoms. As Covid-19 history shows early detection and timely treatment leads to a high cure rate. Odisha is showing this trend, claimed Pandit.

Another big statement made by NHM director is Odisha, like South Korea, is going for mass screening of its population to detect asymptomatic coronavirus positives in State. "Early detection and timely treatment will put State in an advantageous position vis-a-vis Covid-19 battle," she opined.

In this regard, the State is betting big on increasing testing capacity of Covid-19 in the State. Besides, increasing the gold standard RTPCR test capacity, one lakh rapid test kits will be pooled in to test the general population, she informed.

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