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COVID fatalities soar in Odisha: 21% of cumulative pandemic deaths reported in last three weeks

In another development, authorities in Ganjam district intervened to stop a marriage after the RT-PCR report of the groom was found to be positive.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

Odisha on Saturday registered 26 more deaths due to COVID-19, the second highest so far in a single day, pushing the toll to 2,456 while the state reported yet another steep daily spike of 11,108 fresh infections at 18.28% Test Positivity Rate (TPR), which took the tally to 6,79,530.

Things are going from bad to worse in the state’s ongoing battle in the COVID-19 second wave with steady rise in both the infection and fatality rate. The virus has permeated deep in rural areas, even not sparing the far-flung inaccessible pockets inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

The rise in fatality graph in the second wave has been evidently a worrisome development. As many as 513 have died of virus infections in the past 22 days, which implies that almost 21% of total COVID deaths have been reported in the last three weeks’ period.

However skeptics tend to believe that the government has dabbled in large-scale underreporting of fatalities. The home-isolated COVID deaths mostly in rural areas are evidently missing fatalities that the government has willfully tried to cover up, they alleged.

Instances are galore as people, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, were not tested mostly in rural areas. They died unnoticed and unreported. These deaths were not counted in Odisha’s COVID fatality chart. Officially over 500 COVID infected people succumbed to the disease in the past 22 days. On the other hand, more than 1,000 covid deaths occurred in rural areas in a conservative estimate during the past three weeks. Ironically, these fatalities did enter into the record-books, said civil society group members operating in western parts of the State.

As many as 1,79,132 virus infections have been reported in the State since 5 May, when lockdown was enforced in the State. Since the past 18 days, 10,537 cases are being reported in the State at a daily average.

As per the information posted at the COVID dashboard of Odisha government, 86 percent of the 30 districts are currently in the Red Zone category as the active cases in as many as 26 revenue districts have surpassed 1,000 count. Only four districts- Deogarh, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Malkangiri- come under Yellow Zone with less than 1,000 active cases.

Of the infected people in Odisha, 65 per cent are men while 35 percent are women. Of the total 6,79,530 covid-infected people in Odisha, as many 3,57,224 people are from 15-40 age groups accounting for 52.56% of the caseload.

The State’s recovery rate currently stands at 83.49% with as many as 5,67,382 cured of the disease so far. Odisha currently has 1,09,639 active cases, which account for 16.13% of total positive cases registered in the State.

The State’s share is 2.58% in the country’s confirmed virus caseload while the active cases are 3.76% of India’s total active cases. The number of cured patients accounts for 2.46% of the country’s total recovery. Odisha has so far reported 0.83% of the country’s Coronavirus deaths.

The state has so far tested 1,12,41,408 samples for COVIOD-19 including 60,759 on Friday while Odisha’s cumulative positivity rate is 6.04 per cent.

Meanwhile, the covid spurt in jails goes unabated with 83 inmates of Padampur Sub-Jail in Bargarh district testing positive for COVID-19. Yesterday, the special jail in Bhubaneswar had accounted for 96 positive cases. Around 500 jail inmates have contracted the virus in the ongoing 2nd wave of the pandemic.

In another development, authorities in Ganjam district intervened to stop a marriage after the RT-PCR report of the groom was found to be positive. The groom who hailed from Daseipur village under Pattapur police station area was shifted to a quarantine centre, leading to the postponement of the wedding function, said officials.