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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With COVID-19 tally nearing 19,000-mark in the State, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday alleged that the overall COVID-19 situation in Odisha is grim and there are severe lapses in the testing strategy in the State.

State BJP vice-president, Bhrugu Baxipatra today alleged that there is no coherence in COVID-19 new cases and recoveries owing to shortage of beds for treatment of patients.

“We think that there is some irregularity in COVID-19 testing. In Ganjam, many people who are being taken to hospitals are not being informed that they are COVID19 infected and not given reports. Many people are being released before completion of quarantine period after being informed that they are now COVID-19 negative,” said Baxipatra.

The BJP leader further stated that, “We suspect that as there is a shortage of beds, the recovery to positive ratio is almost same. If State government is trying to show more recoveries, then the situation might become serious in coming days.”

“The BJP had earlier demanded for a testing centre in Ganjam. But so far, no testing lab has been set up despite the district now being a COVID-19 hotspot. Had the government acted in time, the situation would not have slipped out of hands. The State government needs to rectify its mistakes,” Baxipatra added.

Congress leader, Tara Prasad Bahinipati too trained guns on Odisha government by alleging that there is a complete COVID-19 mismanagement in the State.

“It is unfortunate that there is absolute mismanagement of COVID-19 in Ganjam which is Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s home constituency. Had the State government had done testing in right manner, the rate of infection would not have been so high,” alleged Bahinipati.

The Congress leader further alleged that those returnees, who were kept in quarantine centres, were not given proper food and treatment. The State government only focused on procurement of masks, PPEs and other articles, but did not take adequate steps for effective handling and treatment of the positive cases, he said.

“When the situation went out of hands, the State government resorted to lockdown and shutdowns across the State. To show that recovery rate is high, the State government is branding negative persons as COVID-19 positives and after keeping them in isolation centres for five days, before releasing them,” Bahinipati added.

The rise in COVID-19 cases is certainly giving jitters to people in Odisha each passing day. What has come as a concern is the reported discrepancy in COVID-19 test results in the State.

Some residents in Khandagiri area in Bhubaneswar have levelled serious allegations citing that COVID-19 test results declared ‘positive’ by Odisha government came negative following a re-test at a private lab.

A video of such allegations has now gone viral on social media.

As per reports, 42-year-old Chinmay Chand had undergone COVID test at municipality hospital on July 9 and his report came positive on July 14. As Chinmay had not ventured out of his home much, he again went for a re-test at a private hospital. Surprisingly, his COVID test report came negative, Chinmay claimed. Similar allegations have also been levelled by another resident Madhusmita Dalai. Interestingly, both were not admitted to COVID hospital on the basis of the reports from the private labs.

Responding to the allegations of the opposition parties, senior BJD leader Debi Mishra said, “Earlier no kits were available, but now apart from RT-PCR, COVID19 test are being conducted using rapid testing kits. It (Coronavirus) is a new type of disease/virus and it was only after WHO raised an alarm, we came to know about it. Focus is now on effective management and reducing fatalities,” he said.

According to Mishra, Odisha government is taking every possible step to adopt the best available practices as per the advice of the experts. “As far as the testing is concerned, it is being undertaken as per ICMR and WHO guidelines,” Mishra added.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read: COVID-19: Odisha Increases Retirement Age Of Doctors

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