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Pradeep Pattanayak

In response to the Central government’s concern about a spike in Covid-19 cases and a fall in the number of tests, Director Health Services Bijay Mohapatra Sunday said the State’s testing rate is much better than the national average. 

Replying to the queries of reporters, Mohapatra said the Centre’s letter is not about the present situation, but about the last week’s situation.  Last week, as many as 53 Covid-19 cases were reported from Dhenkanal district. In the meantime, the picture has changed for the better. No district is reporting any surge of cases. Khordha district which used to report 150/200 cases daily is reporting around 80. 

“The number of testing done by today noon is over 59,000. Yesterday, people did not turn out for testing, which might be due to the prevailing cyclonic situation. If the positivity rate is taken into consideration, the State’s positivity rate is 0.4 per cent as against the Centre’s 1.1 per cent. Similarly, the State’s testing rate in every 1,00,000 is 4,542 as against the Centre’s 2,685,” Mohapatra clarified. 

“If compared to the national Covid case fatality rate, Odisha is in a better position. While the State’s case fatality rate is 0.8 per cent, the national figure is 1.3 percent. What these figures suggest is that the Covid-19 situation in the State is under control,” he added. 

Notably, in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary of Health R K Sharma, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had expressed his concern and asked the State government to ramp up testing and take measures to check the spread of disease.

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