Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: While Odisha govt has put its entire machinery on ground 24/7 to combat COVID-19, super spreaders are undermining such efforts triggering sharp rise in the number of positive cases of late.

After Satyanagar and Bomikhal in Bhubaneswar, the recent spike in COVID-19 positive cases in Balasore and Sundergarh is attributed to two patients, among whose contacts over 20 persons have tested positive so far. The first COVID-19 positive case (patient no - 61) in Balasore was reported 10 days back on April 18 and the number in the district has now reached 16.

As per official data shared by State Health and Family Welfare Department, the patient no-61 of Neliabag turned out to be a super spreader and has infected nearly 13 persons including family members and relatives.

“From Neliabag Containment zone, out of 101 traced contacts, 13 persons have tested positive,” said Balasore CMDO.

Sundergarh district, which was free from coronavirus, reported two COVID-19 positive cases on April 11. Patient no 51 from Sundergarh, who returned from Nizamuddin, soon turned out to be super spreader.

Odisha's patient no-69, 101, 102 and 103 are contacts of the 67-year-old patient-51. So far, 10 positive cases have been reported from the district and all are close contacts and neighbours of the patient no 51. The four new positive cases which were reported yesterday are mostly the relatives and neighbours of the patient -51.

“Our aim is to break the coronavirus chain through aggressive surveillance and isolation of persons with links or symptoms,” said Dibyajyoti Parida, Commissioner of Rourkela Municipal Corporation.

It is pertinent to mention here that it is not for the first time that Odisha is seeing a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases due to super spreaders. Earlier, coronavirus infection from three siblings spread to 18 persons in Bomikhal area of Bhubaneswar. Another super spreader from Satyanagar area infected seven more persons which put Bhubaneswar in the COVID-19 hotspot list.

Though 35 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the past one week in Odisha, Health Minister Naba Das said that the situation in the State is under control compared to other States.

“We are one step ahead of other States and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Odisha’s efforts,” said Das.