Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Odisha is spreading faster and infecting the younger population more that the elderly. Even people below 18 years of age are suffering from severe symptoms, informed State Health & Family Welfare Director Bijay Panigrahi on Friday.

“The infection is spreading faster and younger population is being mostly infected this time around. Therefore, I request the people to strictly adhere to the Covid appropriate behaviour,” appealed Panigrahi.

“A recent study released that around 8 percent of people below 18 years of age are getting more affected. Unlike last year, the severity of infection in younger children has also increased and if they are not given treatment in time, it may risk their lives,” said Panigrahi.

Panigrahi further informed that vaccines were administered in around 1,050 session centres in Odisha on Thursday.

“Around 3 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine will reach Odisha today. As many as 48,10,780 people have been vaccination so far in the State,” added Panigrahi.

Similarly, chief of Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET), Prof CBK Mohanty also cautioned the people about the fast spreading infection among the younger population.

“The second wave infection is relatively spreading faster than the first wave infection. The virus is continuously mutating and the current strain is more infectious. The maximum numbers of patients are asymptomatic. However, the death rate is comparatively less this time,” stated Mohanty.

Moreover, many people are still not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing, which has contributed to the rise in cases, stressed Mohanty.

“Majority of elderly persons who have already contracted the virus during the first wave have developed antibodies and therefore the chances of re-infection in them have decreased. Naturally, the younger population are at high risk of getting infected this time,” said Mohanty.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)