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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With a possible second COVID-19 wave on the cards, people in Odisha are now on tenterhooks even though the daily positivity graph is registering a downward trend.

Though there has been a considerable drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in November compared to the past two months, the situation is still alarming as the mortality rate is yet to come down.

As per projections by experts, Odisha is expected to witness a second wave of COVID-19 just like Delhi and Kerala by December second week. But what is more worrying is the fact that the second wave is likely to continue till January end next year.

“We expect COVID-19 rebound to last till January end. Urban areas and district headquarters in Odisha could be affected by the second wave,” said health expert Dr Niraj Mishra.

With winter making onset, experts have warned that the season's first chill which usually proves a thriving period for influenza, cold and other flu-like diseases, might also help spike the number of COVID-19 infection cases mostly in high population density districts.

Keeping such factors in mind, the Odisha government has now pulled up its socks to deal with the impending second wave threat. Already the State government has announced closure of schools and other educational institutions till December 31.

Though the State government has permitted congregation of 200 people for marriage functions, necessary permission would be granted by district administrations keeping in view the COVID-19 situation in their respective jurisdictions.

According to experts, next three months- December, January and February would be crucial in the on-going fight against coronavirus and people need to strictly follow the protocols and other COVID-19 norms. If at all Odisha witnesses a second wave of COVID-19, it would first hit Berhampur in Ganjam which was the worst-hit district in terms of reporting new cases in the State few months back.

Many believe that several factors like high pollution would attribute in rise in several infections including cold, cough and fever along with COVID-19 cases during winter. Special care needs to be taken by the people in the districts including-Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Malkangiri and Keonjhar where temperature drops considerably below normal in winters.

“There are several places in Odisha where mercury drops considerably low and hence people in such districts needs to be extra cautious,” said former AIIMS Director (Bhubaneswar), Ashok Mohapatra.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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