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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Following a surge in COVID-19 cases in several other states including Maharashtra, the Odisha government has decided to scale up its testing counts to make sure that the situation did not deteriorate further from the present situation when, as per claims, the spread of the deadly virus has substantially been contained.

In addition to that, the last date for COVID testing in the State that was set on March 31, has been extended till April 30. Besides, six senior doctors including a Special Secretary have been entrusted with the responsibility to supervise COVID testing in 30 districts of Odisha, informed Pradipta Mohapatra, The Additional Chief Secretary in Health department.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Mohapatra said, "Maharashtra has already been put under the restricted state category besides four other states. We will take the opinion of the Directors of RMRC and ILS and decide to put some other states under this category. Train passengers from these states disembarking in Odisha will be tested at the railway station itself," he said.

"Looking at the COVID cases in the country that was once lurking around 8000 has spiked to 23,000 today. The situation has set alarm bells ringing, so we are making sure that patients from other states do not infect residents here," Mohapatra added.

Meanwhile, Odisha's vaccination graph has climbed steeply in the last few days. The Director of Health Department said, "A total of 10,17,048 persons have been vaccinated in Odisha out of which 2,65,679 are senior citizens. 84% healthcare workers and 98% frontline workers in the State have already taken the 2nd dose of vaccine."

It is pertinent to mention here that, Odisha has set a target of vaccinating 1 Lakh persons daily from next week.

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