Bhubaneswa: Odisha’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 9,000-mark on Sunday with 469 more persons testing positive for the novel coronavirus, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 36, a Health Department official said.
The fresh cases, including four National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, have taken the state’s virus count to 9,070.
Two men, aged 64 and 40, succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at hospitals in Sundargarh and Gajapati districts respectively, he said.
A 45-year-old patient from Balasore district also died but the cause of her death was attributed to “massive haemorrhagic exudative pleural effusion”, the official said.
With this, the number of COVID-19 patients dying due to other ailments has risen to 10.
The worst-hit Ganjam accounted for 20 of the 36 COVID-19 deaths, followed by seven in Khurda, four in Cuttack and one each in Gajapati, Sundargarh, Puri, Bargarh and Angul districts, he said.
The NDRF personnel, among the 469 fresh cases, were placed under institutional quarantine after their return from West Bengal, where they had gone for restoration work in the wake of cyclone Amphan, the official said.
With this, the total number of disaster response personnel testing positive for COVID-19 has increased to 299.
Of the 469 new patients, 317 were housed in quarantine centres while 152 had come in contact with COVID-19 patients.
The new cases were reported from 20 districts. Ganjam registered the highest number of cases at 116, followed by Cuttack (94) and Sundargarh (66), he said.
As many as 290 patients were also cured of the disease during the day, taking the number of recoveries to 6,224. The recovery rate stands at 68.62 per cent and the mortality rate at 0.39 per cent, the official said.
The state has now 2,800 active cases. As many as 3,090 patients and those suspected to be infected with the virus have been admitted to different COVID-19 hospitals, he said.
The Health Department has tested 5,317 samples during the past 24 hours, the official added.
Meanwhile, with a large number of COVID-19 cases being reported from hospitals, the state government has decided to conduct antigen tests of people with coronavirus symptoms from Tuesday onwards, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, P K Mohapatra said.
He said the reports will be available within two to three hours from the time of the conduct of the antigen tests.
The antigen tests will be conducted at the SCB Medical College Hospital, Acharya Harihara Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC), Sishu Bhawan and City Hospital in Cuttack, Mohapatra said.
Of the 813 COVID-19 patients in Cuttack, 107 are admitted to AHRCC.
As many as 38 cancer patients, their attendants and three other health workers of the hospital have tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the day.
Meanwhile, two engineers of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) have tested positive for COVID-19, the civic body’s Commissioner PC Chaudhary said, adding the duo have travel history.
The Odisha Police enhanced its presence in the worst-hit Ganjam district by deploying four DSP-rank officers and four more platoons of the force. The additional deployment comes a day after two IAS and six OAS officers were sent to Ganjam for managing the COVID-19 situation, an official said.
The district has reported 2,181 cases so far, of which 942 are active while 20 patients have died, he said.
Also, the Puri district administration has imposed restrictions on the entry of people from other districts from July 6 till July 31, District Collector Balwant Singh said. The move comes after the completion of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra.
Singh said the administration will keep a vigil on entry points to the district.
“People who have emergency work will be permitted to enter the district and locals are requested not to go out of the district unless there is some urgency,” he said.
Puri district has reported 299 cases so far, of which one patient has died.