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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With a prediction by SBI research report that the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will peak in the country during the second half of April, in such a scenario, the time is ripe to ascertain where Odisha fits into the scheme of things in the country.

As per the research report authored by SBI Chief Economic Advisor Soumya Kanti Ghosh, the second wave in India will last for full 100 days from the start date on February 15. And the total caseload may touch a massive 25 lakh, the report predicts.

It has calculated the peak period for the second wave by taking into account the time span taken from the daily rise in cases to the peak month reported during the first wave in 2020.

WHERE ODISHA STANDS?

The daily case rate in Odisha this week has posted a sharp rise. During the last 7-days, the average of daily cases per lakh population in the State has risen to 2 from 1.05 in the previous week.

As per the US-based Centre for Disease Control (CDC), if there is a rise in 7-day average per lakh population by over 10 per cent then the transmission risk stands high in the community.

Now, cut to the state of affairs in Odisha. It has been observed that during the past fortnight period, the last 7-days average of new cases per lakh population has nearly doubled (up nearly 100% as it increases from 1.05 to a little over 2) vis-a-vis the preceding 7-day average per lakh population, though it remained below 5 (Minimal community spread risk).

However, given the value has doubled in 7-days, the indicator clearly hints at what is waiting in store for Odisha in the days to come.

WILL COMING DAYS BE EXPLOSIVE?

As per the epidemiological study of COVID-19, a lower value of the per cent new confirmed cases in the quarantine contacts vis-a-vis the total of daily confirmed cases indicate towards a very explosive situation in days to come.

"Since more and more new positives in quarantine contacts hint at effective working of the contact tracing strategy in a society, which gives an insurance against the scenario taking an explosive turn," explained CDC.  

Now, Coming to Odisha: If the 7-day average of the per cent of new cases in quarantine contacts is looked into, the value comes at around 38 per cent - which indicates there is a high chance of moderate community spread in Odisha in the coming days.

WHY THE WORRY HIGH?

Since the ratio of RT-PCR tests in Odisha is below 20 per cent of the cumulative tests conducted daily, the epidemiological indices of COVID-19 tell that if the test positivity rate (TPR) from RTPCR tests remain below 3 per cent then the risk of community spread is lowest.

But data shows 4 districts have a TPR between over 3 per cent but below 10 per cent. This indicator again hints at the risk of moderate community spread in Odisha.

ODISHA COVID-19 TREND TODAY

The signs of the second wave in Odisha has been quite conspicuous last week.

While the average daily confirmed cases reported during the current 7-day period has increased to138 from an average of 71cases during the preceding 7-days, the average new recoveries during the current week slipped to 68 from 73 in the previous 7-day period.

The value of the average number of new cases in the current week is nearly double the average new recoveries in the State, which show the virus transmission has risen to a moderate level from a low level a week ago.

VIRUS 'ACTIVE' IN ODISHA

With an addition of 143 active cases today, the total Covid-19 actives in Odisha crossed the 1000-mark to touch 1080. The disconcerting trend witnessed is during the last 9-days, 'Active' cases have grown by over 87 per cent in the State. And the high growth rate is quite alarming, staring at the explosive days ahead.   

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