Bhubaneswar: The late surge of COVID-19 looks quite bothering for Odisha, when only 7 days are left for the lockdown 2.0 to make an exit on May 3. What is worrying is, as on today, nearly 80 COVID suspects have been admitted to Odisha's 28 COVID hospitals along with a total of 72 confirmed COVID cases.
Moreover, there are nearly 9 patients who are admitted to the ICUs in the State's exclusive COVID hospitals.
As the rate of growth of COVID cases in Odisha during the last 10 days has been estimated at around 5.26 per cent, the total COVID count in the State is predicted to cross 140 mark by May 3 - the last day of lockdown 2.0. The total sample tests conducted every day in the State now have risen to an average of 2,250 from 527 per day during April 1-19. And the State government has recently targeted a total tests of 5000 per day by the end of the month.
The COVID miseries for Odisha are apparently set to aggravate post the end of lockdown, as migrant workers from State residing in other states will return in hordes. The State government is estimating the number at a massive 5 lakh.
As per State government data, the inflow to Odisha will take place from high-burden states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
Who are high burden states?
States which are having high COVID cases per million population are termed as high burden states. (Image below). While Delhi tops the chart with 144.6 cases per million, it is followed by Maharashtra and Gujarat with 65.38 and 47.9 cases per million, respectively.
In contrast, Odisha figures among the top 5 low COVID incidence or burden states in the country. The state with only 2.5 cases per million occupies the slot of 5th low burden state in the country.
However, its neighbours, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, have lower COVID cases per million population. (See the image above). But the cases per million in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal stand higher at 20.98 and 6.5, respectively.
What’s bothering Odisha is, samples tested per million in West Bengal is among the poorest in the country. Still the cases per million are on the higher side. And as per the State government, the returnees from West Bengal are responsible for the surge in COVID cases in Odisha. The State Health Department data estimates WB returnees alone accounted for around 36 per cent of total COVID-19 cases in Odisha.
As per experts, the reproduction number (R0) for COVID 19 in India is estimated at 1.135, whereas the rate for Odisha is estimated at 1.127. Maharashtra has the highest R0 value of 1.193 in the country. The R0 value for Gujarat is estimated at 1.164 and for TN at 1.18.
Reproductive number or R0 is defined as the number of secondary infections generated by a COVID positive over a period of time.
In the given context, high influx of migrants from high burden states could exert a deleterious impact on the rising count of COVID cases in the State.