Covid caseload in Odisha rose to 52,653 with the most worrying feature being the spike of cases in the state capital Bhubaneswar.

The day witnessed 1981 fresh cases, while the death toll rose to 314 as nine more patients succumbed to the disease.

The trend appears to match the projections made by certain public health experts and researchers who had stated a month ago that Bhubaneswar in particular will witness a rapid rise in August while the hotspot Ganjam will see a flattening of the curve during the same period.

Bhubaneswar on Thursday recorded a steep spike of 237 COVID-19 infections with 44% of them sourced from local contacts.

Of the fresh cases in the state capital, 132 cases were detected from quarantine centres while 105 were local or community contacts. 28 slum settlers from 16 colonies have tested positive today.

Eleven health service personnel from both five hospitals, both government and private contracted the disease.

Of the fresh across the state , 274 were reported in Khurda district, Ganjam district reported 267 cases followed by Kandhamal (179), Sundargarh (145) and Cuttack (131). Nine COVID patients died (3 in Ganjam, 2 each from Cuttack and Mayurbhanj and one each from Sundargarh and Kandhamal districts).

Of the new cases, 1,225 were detected from quarantine centres, while 756 people tested positive for the disease during contact-tracing.

Odisha now has 15,807 active cases, while 36,479 patients have recovered from the disease so far, he said.

The state tested 40,711 samples for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bulk of which were antigen tests. The current spike in infections in the past one week has been due to the aggressive contact tracing coupled with the scaling up of tests, claimed officials.

Ganjam and Khurda district, the epicenters of the disease in the State, have so far accounted for 20,753 infections- 40.44% of total cases reported from the State till date.

While Ganjam has a total of 13,842 infections, Khordha accounts for 7,452 positive cases till date. A total of 36,479 patients have so far recovered from the disease.