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Mrunal Manmay Dash

As the COVID cases in Odisha witnessed a steep rise last week, the Odisha health department raised concerns and advised to remain alert for the next 10-15 days after Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha.

Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 1,29,518 on Wednesday as 401 more people tested positive for the infection. This was the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since February 22, when the state had recorded 428 infections.

In fact, the daily cases of infection have rose almost six-fold in 10 days; from 69 positive cases on June 27 to more than 400 on July 7.

Odisha had logged 334 cases on Tuesday. The district of Khordha reported the highest number of fresh cases at 194, followed by 64 in Cuttack. Forty-four children were among the new patients.

Public Health Director, Dr Niranjan Mishra said, “The recent COVID spike is probably due to large congregation during Rath Yatra. And the next 10-15 days after Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha is vital. There may be a spike during this period too.”

He, however, played down the chances of hospitalisation in this wave and credited the mass vaccination drive for this. “We think there will not be a sudden spike in cases like in second wave or third wave thanks to the vaccination drive.

But Doctor Ashok Mohapatra, former Director of AIIMS Bhubaneswar raised serious concern over the sudden rise in cases.

“People should never take this lightly. COVID appropriate behavior is of paramount importance and people should mask up whenever they go out of their house.”

The state's coronavirus death toll, however, remained unchanged at 9,126 as no fresh fatality was recorded in the last 24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was at 2.66 per cent as 15,907 samples were tested for COVID-19.

Odisha now has 1,957 active cases, while 12,80,382 people have recovered from the infection so far, including 139 on Tuesday. Besides, 53 patients have died due to comorbidities so far.

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