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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: In this decisive battle against COVID-19, quarantine is the main battle tank to smoke out the COVID attack on Odisha. But any fault in operating this main attack weapon has the potential to backfire.

It is exactly this that is giving nightmares to State health administration, as a massive 4,411 quarantine norm violations have been recorded by the State COVID cell till date.

In the last 24 hours, the State COVID cell had made nearly 6,550 calls to monitor the individuals in quarantine in State. During the routine monitoring, as many as 16 quarantine violations were reported during the same period.

The State government has set up nearly 12,000 quarantine centres across the 6,798 panchayats in the State. When 54,389 have completed their quarantine period in the State, 4,332 are still in quarantine in the centres.

As per the data available with State Health department, during the course of monitoring quarantine norms, the State COVID cell has generated red alert report against 4,411 individuals till date, including 16 violations during last 24 hours.

These individuals have been found defying the quarantine protocol and indulging in risky behaviour. Though major chunk of violations were detected among individuals in home quarantine, a sizable chunk of violations were also reported from institutional centres, said sources.

In this crucial phase, strict enforcement of quarantine norms (institution and home) will make Odisha's battle with COVID easier. Recently, out of 28-days quarantine, State government has made 7 days home quarantine mandatory. The 28-day quarantine will help Odisha in eliminating the risk of COVID spread from asymptomatic corona positives.

When strict quarantine observance is a key to fight against COVID successfully, data shows only 30 per cent of calls made could materialise. The rate during last fortnight was around 27 per cent.

In order to bring COVID suspects under regular surveillance, the State government has made it mandatory for the authorities to call twice to persons living in quarantine. But the calls met with non-cooperation from individuals in home quarantine or in temporary medical camps.

For instance, the State authorities have made 6,190 calls on May 6 to individuals living in quarantine, but it could reach out to only 1436. The reach out proportion stood at mere 23 per cent. The trend shows the average response to State government's quarantine check out calls had been around 30 per cent.

However, the State COVID cell claimed an improvement during the last 48 hours. Sources said the reach out proportion has increased to around 70 per cent during the last 48 hours.

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