Sharmili Mallick

Amid growing cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19 abroad and in the country, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the Odisha Government expressing concern over the high infection rate in seven districts of the State and directed to take necessary steps to control the spread of infection and reduce fatalities.

“Odisha has reported 71,445 new cases in month ending December 4 (30 days), with a contribution of 2.5% to India's new cases from over the past month. It is important to be noted that Khordha district is reporting a high quantum of weekly cases with 900 new cases reported in week ending December 3. Further, 6 out of 30 districts reported an increase in the weekly caseload in week ending December 3, as compared to week ending November 26,”noted Bhusan in the letter to RK Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary of the State Health and Family Welfare Department.

Dhenkanal reported 9 cases between November 20 and November 26 (seven days) while it increased to 69 cases between November 27 and December 3, which is a 666.7 percent increase in the rate of infection.

Similarly, Kandhmal reported 250 percent (2 cases to 7 cases) hike in infection rate, Nabarangpur 150 percent (2 to 5), Keonjhar 109.1 percent (11 to 23), Angul 96 percent (10 to 39) and Bolangir 75 percent (8 to 14), respectively, the letter read.

“Further, the State exhibited a decline of 3.1%  in weekly tests conducted from 4,01,164 total tests  in week ending November 26 to 3,88,788  total tests in week ending  December 3 with  -36% RT PCR share,” pointed out the Union Health Secretary.

Bhushan therefore asserted that the State Health Department should take required necessary steps to control the spread of infection and reduce fatality by adopting the ongoing strategy of Test-Tract-Treat-Vaccinate-Covid Appropriate Behaviour to keep the situation under control.

“Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will continue to provide requisite support to the State in the ongoing and collective efforts against COVID-19,”assured Bhushan.

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