For the first time in the last 80 days, Odisha’s daily test positivity rate (TPR) for Covid-19 came down below 5 on Monday, signifying the rapidly declining infection curve during the second wave even as the daily fatalities continued to hover above 40.
On Monday, the state reported 3,021 new Covid cases from 61,000 samples tested in the last 24 hours with a test positivity rate of 4.96, the first time it went below 5 since April 2.
Despite the declining TPR, which is the percentage of people testing positive out of the total people tested, the situation in at least six districts, including Bhadrak, Balasore and Khurda, continues to be matter of concern as the weekly TPR between June 14 and 20 was more than 10. In Bhadrak, the weekly TPR was 15.66 followed by 14.86 of Balasore and 14.44 of Jajpur. In western Odisha district of Nuapada, the TPR seems to be on the rise at 10.45.
The lockdown, which has been extended till June 30, is still in force in all the 30 districts even as it has been partially relaxed in 17 districts due to their low TPRs.
Director of health Bijay Mohapatra said even after the lockdown is lifted, no one should take it easy. “Masks and social distancing have to be followed rigorously. We are prepared for the third wave. The state government is ramping up vaccination so that we can vaccinate 300,000 people daily. Besides, training is being imparted to doctors and healthcare workers in special paediatric care,” he said.
June has been the most devastating for Odisha with 842 Covid deaths officially recorded so far, though by unofficial estimates, the number would be at least double. The state BJP has demanded a white paper on Covid deaths while a lawyer has filed a PIL in Orissa high court seeking a special audit of the deaths.