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Pradeep Singh

Berhampur: The COVID-19 situation in Ganjam district seems to be steadily deteriorating as the number of local contact cases continue to rise despite restrictions.

As many as 1271 COVID-19 cases have been reported from the district so far with 10 deaths. The district tops among Odisha districts in terms of both positives and death toll.

A large number of corona warriors getting infected from the district has also sent the alarm bells ringing. In the last 11 days, as many as 129 frontline warriors including 29 cops have tested positive for the virus in the district mostly the police personnel of Seragada, Aska, Chhatrapur, Berhampur and Sadar Police Stations.

Speaking on the situation, DIG of Police, Southern Range, Satyabrata Bhoi said, “As we come in direct contact with people during duty while arresting accused or maintaining traffic and law and order situation, the chances of getting infected is higher.”

To tackle the situation, police personnel have been directed to take proper precautions, said Bhoi.

The Berhampur Municipal Corporation on Sunday declared six areas under its jurisdiction as containment zones based on inputs received from special teams formed for health screening.

Moreover, spread of the virus in rural areas has also kept the administration on toes. People in rural areas have been advised not to visit urban pockets if not necessary.

It is alleged that reducing the quarantine period to seven days and releasing the returnees without COVID test, flouting of social distancing norms and lack of awareness have led to the spread of the virus in rural areas.

“After completing the mandatory quarantine period, people need to stay at home for the next seven days, but many have been witnessed violating the guidelines. Though the locals are aware of the norms due to pre-emptive steps by the government, we have failed to get much cooperation from the returnees,” said Badhinuapalli sarpanch, Basudev Rout.

Jasobanta Sahani, the village head of Kumbhapada GP said ‘the situation is not the same always’ but people need to strictly follow the guidelines for the safety of all.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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