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  • ଓଡ଼ିଆରେ ପଢନ୍ତୁ
Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • As per the WHO guidelines, the Covid scenario in the districts of Khordha, Balasore and Sundargarh is super explosive. Because 1 in every three tests happens to be positive here. And these districts need a near double number of tests vis-a-vis the current daily tests to detect the positives at the earliest and isolate them to break the transmission cycle

Even as the states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu and a few others have clamped weekend shutdown to tame the big rise in daily Covid cases, what is that is holding back the State from enforcing at least Sunday shutdown?

As per Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra, CM Naveen Patnaik has directed the officials to initiate all steps to flatten the third wave curve without affecting the normal life and livelihood of the people.

Accordingly, the CS Mahapatra yesterday had quoted the words of CM Patnaik during his press briefing.

"The number of fresh cases in the State has stabilised during the last couple of days. The number of active cases has also started decreasing in some big cities of the country. Moreover, hospitalisation of patients is also very less as patients are having mild symptoms," said the CM and he in the same vein added that If people cooperate, we can fight the situation without affecting livelihood.

While urging people in the State to adhere to Covid appropriate behaviour, CS Suresh Mahapatra reiterated what CM Naveen Patnaik had said the day before.

As per Suresh Mahapatra, only 2 per cent require hospitalisation in the third wave as against 10-12 percent during the second and first wave. The ICU and oxygen requirement is also comparatively less. He further emphasised that at present only 10 percent of hospital beds are occupied in the State.

Lastly, the CS had added that the numbers will go up if we do not adhere to the COVID appropriate behaviour.

Are The Number Low In Odisha? A Reality Check

As per the State Health Department data, last Thursday the daily Test Positivity Rate (TPR) in the State had been measured at 12.4 percent. This Thursday (on Jan 20), the TPR has been measured at 13.9 percent.

It has been observed that the TPR in the State during the last 8-days has exhibited a zigzag graph.

The WHO View

Going by the WHO epidemiological point of view, the high percent positive indicates that the State needs more testing, and the time is not appropriate to relax the restrictions imposed to reduce the coronavirus transmission.

Moreover, WHO has also observed that a high percentage of positive tests suggests high coronavirus infection rates. The top health body says that this high test positivity is due to high transmission in the community.

And the WHO prescription for the 'high percent positivity' has been to add more restrictions to slow down the spread of disease.

Is Community Transmission On In Odisha?

A glance at the weekly positivity rate across the districts in the State tells a big tale. In the week ending on Jan 18, as many as 27 districts in Odisha have a weekly positivity rate (WPR) of over 5 percent.

On the week ended on Jan 13, the number of districts having a weekly TPR of over 5 percent in the State was 17.

Moreover, when 10 districts had a weekly TPR of over 10 percent in the week ended on Jan 13, the number has now zoomed up top touch 13. Also, as against 7 districts were having weekly TPR of more than 5 percent in the week ended on Jan 13, the tally has now doubled to 14.

Here's A Glance Of District Wise TPR

  • Khordha  -- 33.77 percent
  • Balasore  --- 29.37 percent
  • Sundargarh -- 27.35 percent
  • Mayurbahanj --18.10 percent
  • Kalahandi   ----- 17.04 percent
  • Cuttack   --------- 16.82 percent
  • Rayagada   -------- 14.99 percent
  • Bolangir   ---------- 14.46 percent
  • Sambalpur  -------- 12.38 percent
  • Jharsuguda   ------- 12.30 percent
  • Angul          ---------- 12.17 percent
  • Bhadrak     ----------- 10.22 percent
  • Bargarh     ------------ 10.08 percent

Besides, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Sonepur and Dhenkanal have a WTPR of over 9 percent. Even, Malkangiri has WTPR of 5.68 percent.

WHO Rule

As per the WHO guidelines, the Covid scenario in the districts of Khordha, Balasore and Sundargarh is super explosive. Because 1 in every three tests happens to be positive here. And these districts need a near double number of tests vis-a-vis the current daily tests to detect the positives at the earliest and isolate them to break the transmission cycle.

Odisha Vs Other States   

Delhi: Since Delhi has WTPR of around 30 percent, the state government there had imposed a weekend shutdown, besides the night curfew.

Tamil Nadu: A high of 18 districts in the State have a WTPR of over 20 percent. The state government has enforced the Sunday shutdown along with the night curfew.

Jharkhand: A total of 6 districts has a WTPR of over 10 percent. The State government has ordered the closure of all shops at 5 pm every day.

Rajasthan: Eight districts have a weekly TPR of over 20 percent. The state government has imposed a weekend curfew.

Significantly, CM Naveen Patnaik in his review meeting had mentioned the instances of 'big cities'. And the big cities that now show a drop in caseload are none other than Delhi, Chennai etc. But these big cities had enforced stricter measures to flatten the curve.

Why Odisha Holds Back?

Like last year, the State this year could have gone for at least a Sunday shutdown in the high-burdened districts. But given that the State government has decided to hold Panchayat elections next month, it now cannot impose a weekend shutdown to stop the transmission of the virus.

After all elections and weekend shutdowns cannot go hand in hand, and will then be labelled as doublespeak - exactly this is what has prevented weekend restrictions in Odisha, despite brisk transmission in many districts.

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