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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The emergence of Jajpur as the new COVID hotspot in Odisha is giving enough Goosebumps to the State Health department. The reason is, unlike Bhubaneswar, the first COVID hotspot in Odisha, the positive rate in the new hotspot has risen to 3.3 per cent.

More worry is, the reproduction number or R0 value, which denotes to secondary infection, in the panchayat is very high vis-a-vis the R0 value of around 0.4 in Bhubaneswar.

The concern about Jajpur is COVID cases have started trickling in from another block, Bari, besides the Dasarathpur block. And the new positives are returnees from West Bengal.

The data released today by State Health Secretary Nikunj Dhal shows that the epicenter of the district - Katikata area - has a COVID positive rate of 3.3 per cent, which is almost at par with the national positive rate of around 3.88 per cent.

The Katikata panchayat has 21 confirmed cases till today. And the significant fact here is only 5 positives are returnees from West Bengal. The rest confirmed positive cases are secondary infections, which indicate to a high scale of contact transmission in the panchayat.

Risk factors are galore in Jajpur. As it is established that more and more cases of contact transmission are being reported from the block, the worry here is the total population is 4,500. And State health department has conducted 630 tests so far. The confirmed positives stood at 21.

The sample test data shows in every 100 persons, samples of 14 have been examined for COVID till date, which is quite high. State Health Secretary informed that more tests will be done in the panchayat to contain the spread of COVID.

While the State government today blamed the non-responsible behaviour of residents in Katikata for the spread, State health secretary Dhal, however, expressed satisfaction over the COVID recovery rate in Odisha. The recovery rate in the state stood at 35.26 per cent, he informed.

A look at the national picture shows Odisha is figuring among the top-10, especially among major states, in COVID recovery rate.

While Chhattisgarh with a rate of 83.72 per cent leads the table, it is followed by Kerala, where the recovery rate stood at a healthy 78.71 per cent. Odisha is at the 10th rank with a rate of 35.26 per cent.

The states which are ahead of Odisha are: Assam (76.7%), Haryana (67.5%), TN (51.9%), Telangana (44%), Karnataka (42.6%), Rajasthan (41.67%) and J&K (38.65%).

However, the disconcerting statistics for the State at the end of the day today is doubling rate dipped to below 11 days. The rate now stood approximately at 10 days. Only recently, Union Health Ministry had lauded Odisha for having a doubling rate of over 11 days.  

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