Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The Covid-19 March jinx is seemingly continuing for Odisha. After the virus had first marched into Odisha in the month of March last year, the month in the year 2021 has again started giving the Covid-19 jitters to the State.

What looks like the big worrying numbers for Odisha are, for the first time in the year 2021, the number of new Covid-19 confirmed cases have outnumbered the count of new recoveries. The Active cases have grown, and to date, 3 deaths - all from Khordha districts - have been reported.

Today, a 15-year male child with a disease history of B-Cell Lymphoma, a type of white blood corpuscles cancer, succumbed to the viral disease. As per medical experts, the disease is curable. Since this disease has a big adverse impact on the immunity status of the patient, Covid-19 proved the killer here.


During the period of March 1-20, Odisha added new coronavirus cases totalling 1,626. In contrast, the new recoveries stood at around 1,495. As a consequence, the active cases in the State have risen by nearly 20 per cent in the last 20-days.

On the contrary, in the month of February when Odisha had recorded a high of 2,119 new coronavirus cases, the new recoveries during the month stood higher at 2,468.  The outcome was there to see as the active cases dropped by around 349 or by 34 per cent.

A rise in the graph in March tells a significant story when today as many as 21 states in the country have posted a rise in new Covid-19 confirmed cases almost signalling the arrival of second-wave in the country.

However, the only favourable statistics for the State in March has been the number of Covid-19 related fatalities has been only 3 to date vis-a-vis 10 in February.

But an analysis of the Covid-19 resurgent states like Maharashtra and Kerala shows that the surfacing of the second wave in both states have recorded a swift rise in new cases but the fatalities remained milder vis-a-vis the phase-1.


A look at the following factors hints at the high possibility in Odisha, especially when there are no restrictions on the movement of people, the proneness to such a rise in new cases in the State clearly exists when the data of returnees to the State during the first phase of Covid-19 have been looked into.

Data shows when maximum returnees to the districts of Cuttack and Khurda were from West Bengal, followed by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, in Ganjam, the maximum migrant returnees had been from Gujarat and Maharashtra.

While Maharashtra and Gujarat figured in the top-5 states in the second corona wave, Telangana and West Bengal have been ranked in the top-15 in the country.

A comparative glance at the last year's data shows that the graph of corona cases in the State had taken an upsurge after a lag of 2-3 months vis-a-vis the pick-up month in the above states.


As per the data available with the State Health Department, the new trend observed in the State has been that the majority of new cases are in the age-group of 41-60 years. For which, the gap in total cases between the affected age-groups now stand pruned to 60,000 only.