A senior doctor at one of Bhubaneswar's premier healthcare centres said the present lockdown should be extended for another two weeks time though the State has already passed the peak period of Covid-19 infection.
"Odisha has already crossed its peak in the ongoing second wave of Covid19 infection last week and started showing a downward trend. However, in order to contain the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the State, lockdown should be extended," said senior physician at Kar Clinic, Dr Neeraj Mishra.
"The lockdown should be extended for two more weeks till June 15. Later, if the test positivity rate (TPR) comes down to 5 percent, restrictions can be eased in a phased manner. However, after two weeks, if the TPR falls to 5 percent, the extension of lockdown may not be needed," said Mishra.
"The overall test positivity rate (TPR) has dipped below14 percent now which was hovering around 26 percent at the time of the peak period in Odisha. This indicates that the infection has been gradually decreasing and will further fall in the coming days," stated the health expert.
The cases in the Covid-19 second wave came late in Odisha as compared to Delhi and Maharashtra due to which the peak was also delayed, added Mishra.
As per WHO, restrictions should not be eased unless the TPR logs below 5 percent. The TPR in Delhi is below 5 percent and the concerned government will ease the lockdown restrictions from next week, he said.
"I think the Odisha government will extend the lockdown till positivity rate falls below the benchmark suggested by the WHO," emphasised Mishra.
The lockdown was imposed in Odisha at the right time or else, the State should have suffered the same crisis for hospital beds, drugs, oxygen supply etc as it was witnessed in Delhi, Bangaluru, Chennai for treating Covid-19 patients, said Mishra.
Lockdown helped the cases remain in plateau stage and typical peak did not come in the State. Odisha did not suffer in managing Covid-19 cases unlike other States in the country, he added.
Stressing on the inoculation drive in the State, Mishra said, "The Covid-19 vaccination drive should be expedited which will prevent the State from the third wave that is expected to hit in the month of October."