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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Even as the explosive run of the second wave in the Capital City of Odisha continues, the big worry to fore is around 2-4 per cent of new infections have been in the age group of 0-14 years.

Significantly, the State Capital Bhubaneswar on Saturday crossed the 450-mark, after a hiatus of nearly 8-months. The daily infection count in Bhubaneswar today stood at 451.

During the first wave, the Capital City had recorded 480 cases on September 12, 2020. But the twist in the tale is the recoveries then were around 83 per cent vis-a-vis mere around 25 per cent today. This shows more harrowing days in store for the smart city.

CATCHING THEM YOUNG?

As per data collected from the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), during the last 15-day period, (April 1-16), a total of 2-4 per cent of daily new infections in the Smart city belong to the age group of below 14-years. The proportion in the city during the peak period last year had been around 1-2 per cent.

In the last 15-days,  a total of around 87 children in the Capital City in the age group of 0-14 years have been reported Covid-19 positive. As per a data analysis, nearly 45 per cent of the total new infections in the city are below 10-years. Moreover, the gender divide shows that male child is more infected than girls. The ratio stood at around 67:33 in April.

How vulnerable the young souls in the city is evident from the fact that the population in the age group in Bhubaneswar has been estimated at around 2.7 lakh. Nearly 10 per cent of them belong to the age group of 0-6 years, the projections on Bhubaneswar census data revealed.

HOW INFECTION SPREADS TO CHILDREN? 

As per a senior BMC official, like the first wave, it is the working-age group (20-45 years) who spreads the virus. But last time, the spread among children had been slower. Moreover, it has been observed that the majority of children in the city didn’t strictly adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. They still mingle in playgrounds, he observed. 

THE LOCAL TRANSMISSION WORRY

A detailed look at the last 15-days data reveals that the local contact cases in the city during the last 7-days have dropped to around 82 per cent of the total daily positive cases as against 93 per cent of total cases in the preceding 7-day period.

CITY HOTSPOTS 

The ward wise data prepared by BMC reveals that most of the clusters in the second wave have been the hotspots in the first wave too. And like the first wave, the slums have again become the engine of the growing tally.

As per highly placed sources, the slums in ward number 2, 12, 19, 23 (Khandagiri) and 27 (Nayapalli) have been contributing to the rising count of positive cases in the Capital city.

Nayapalli has become the epicentre of the Capital city. A total of 108 new positives have been detected in the locality during the last 7-days. The incidence looks high when the population of ward number 27 (Nayapalli) as per 2011 census has been estimated at around 12,039.

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