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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Covid-19 count in Odisha has been remaining below the 100-mark for the last 33-days, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's address to the people of State urging them to strictly adhere to the pandemic appropriate behaviour assumes significance.

"For your cooperation, the corona situation in the State is well under control. The pandemic is not yet over. The scenario has turned worse in many states. Lockdown has made a return in Maharashtra. Since we all know the perils of lockdown, including the disastrous impact on social and economic spheres of life, I appeal you all to follow pandemic appropriate behaviour, so that Odisha could achieve the target of zero infection," said CM Patnaik.

WHY NAVEEN CHOOSE TO ADDRESS NOW?

On March 9, the technical advisor to Maharashtra Government on Covid-19  control, Dr Subash Salunke, had openly warned that the surge in cases in Maharashtra could spread to other states soon, as Maharashtra has not closed its borders. he added.

He even went on to predict that states in the north and northeast of Maharashtra, including Odisha, could see a repeat of the Maharashtra wave in April, provided these states don't learn any lesson from Maharashtra.

Since Odisha has been one of the recipient states with regard to reverse migration (return of migrants from Odisha dwelling in Maharashtra), CM Patnaik chooses Sunday to warn the people of the pandemic perils looming over the State, disclosed a senior State health official.

COVID19 SCENARIO IN ODISHA

As per the data available with the State Health Department, Odisha has recorded a total of 930 new confirmed cases since March 1 as against 1,017 cases during the preceding 13-day period and 1,102 cases during the period of the first fortnight of February. This shows the infection in the State on the descent.

Moreover, the number of districts in the State reporting new cases declined from 20 districts to only around 15 during the last 10-days. The new confirmed cases recorded daily have not touched the 100-mark after Feb 9.

LESSONS ODISHA TO LEARN

As per an analysis, the second wave of Covid-19 hit the same districts in Maharashtra that reported the maximum cases during the first phase of spread.

As per experts, in order to avoid the Covid-19 surge in the State, the Odisha government need to keep a high order of surveillance in the earlier hotspots like Ganjam, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Bhadrak and Sundargarh.

Moreover, the reasons for the Maharashtra spike has been attributed to the gram Panchayat elections. Odisha has to remain vigilant when neighbouring West Bengal is in poll mode, especially when Bhadrak had become a hotspot due to returnees from Kolkata.

And when the Centre has asked many states, including Odisha, to increase the tests to check the spread of Covid-19, does the State need more testing from the current test rate of around 22k per day.?

DOES ODISHA NEED TO DO MORE TESTS?

Odisha is currently doing near 285 -338 tests per confirmed case vis-a-vis Maharashtra's 6 tests per confirmed case. The higher value for Odisha shows that the infection in Odisha is low and augmenting the tests further is not required at this stage.   

As per the WHO norms, if tests per confirmed case are low then the outbreak is large and more tests are urgently required. Since the number is quite high in Odisha, as per epidemiological standards, the outbreak in Odisha is small and more tests are urgently not required.

 

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