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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Complacency has crept in among the fully vaccinated population in Odisha as they continue to throw Covid caution to wind with the belief that the virus can’t infect them anymore and they can move in crowded places freely like the pre-pandemic era.

However, Director, Public Health Bijay Mohapatra cautioned people against complacency. 

“The vaccine protects us from the most severe illness and death from Covid-19, but one can still catch the virus and transmit it to others,” said Mohapatra.

“We have not received any such guidelines from the Centre to allow fully vaccinated people to move around in crowded places. If at all we take any decision to ease movement norms, the State government will consider all the aspects including the number people fully covered under the vaccination programme,” Mohapatra said.

He said the State Health Department is undertaking Sero Surveys in various districts. “After the completion of the surveys, we will get a clear picture of the antibody present in the population which will be a guiding factor to take any further decision on people’s movement,” he said.

Shading light on the number of deaths in the State due to Covid-19, Mohapatra said, the Health Department was unable to complete the audit of the cases in the thick of the pandemic.

“It’s not feasible to complete the audit of the death cases in the midst of the pandemic surge. Now, we have almost completed the audit as there has been considerable drop in the number of cases,” said Mohapatra.

Meanwhile the chief of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training, Odisha, CBK Mohanty alerted that children might be more affected in the likelihood of a third wave of the pandemic.

“As most of the adult population have either been vaccinated or infected by Covid-19 they have developed antibodies against the virus. So, the possible third wave of the pandemic may affect children more,” said Mohanty.

“So far we have no indication about the outbreak of third wave of the pandemic in the State. The second wave is still continuing with a dip in the number of infection. However, we have to be careful for the future by adhering to all Covid protocols,” said the top health official.

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