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Sharmili Mallick

As Odisha has been witnessing a steep increase in Covid-19 cases, a top State health official on Wednesday said the infections will continue to rise in the coming days.

Briefing reporters about the current pandemic situation in the State, Director, Public Health,  Niranjan Mishra said, “Covid-19 cases are increasing and majority of the patients are asymptomatic. The coming days in January, February and early days of March are very crucial. The Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the State has considerably increased and hovering around 7.5 percent.”

Mishra said the infection rate is higher in four to five districts of the State. However, number of hospitalisation, demand for ICU beds and death rate are under control, he added.

“The CM had reviewed the Covid situation yesterday and asked district Collectors to monitor the situation closely and declare cluster containment zones when and where necessary,” Mishra said.

On the other hand, the Director, Family Welfare and nodal officer for Covid vaccination, Dr Bijay Panigrahi informed that the vaccination rate is low in five districts of the State, including Gajapati, Sundargarh, Cuttack, Angul and Mayurbhanj.

A total of 46,109 people, including 20,130 healthcare workers, 12,133 frontline workers, 13,846 people above 60 years with co-morbidities have been administered the precautionary dose yesterday. 

With this, a total of 96,684 people in the State have been inoculated with the precautionary dose till date, informed Panigrahi.

Similarly, as many as 89,527 children between 15 and 18 years of age were administered Covid-19 vaccine yesterday. A total of 8,05,553 children in this age group have been vaccinated with the first dose since January 10, added the State nodal officer for Covid vaccination.

A total of 5,32,13,000 Covid vaccine doses have been administered till date. Out of this, 92 percent target population have received the first dose while 90 per cent have got the second dose, he added.

Speaking on the ongoing vaccination drive in the State, Panigrahi said “As the Covid-19 transmission is spreading rapidly, we have been instructed to expedite the vaccination drive. Healthcare worker, frontline workers and ANMs are visiting door-to-door under ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ programme and identifying the people who are yet to receive the vaccine shots. They have also identified those who have not taken their second doses.”

At least 12 mobile vaccine clinics have been engaged in Blocks which low vaccination rate while 10 have been deployed in Blocks with good performance to expedite the inoculation drive, he added.

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