Odisha’s COVID-19 caseload crossed the 15,000-mark on Thursday with 494 more people testing positive for the infection, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll in the state to 79, a senior health official said.
The fresh cases reported from 23 districts have taken the state’s count to 15,392, he said.
Of the 494 new cases, 322 were reported from quarantine centres, while 172 are contacts of COVID-19 patients, the official said.
Ganjam, the worst-hit district in the state, reported the highest number of fresh cases at 246, taking its caseload to 4,867. Khurda reported 64 new cases, Cuttack 38 and Balasore registered 21.
Two patients died of COVID-19 while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Ganjam district including a 51-year-old man, who had morbid obesity, and a 34-year-old man, who was suffering from hypertension, the Health Department said in a statement.
The fresh deaths have taken the number of coronavirus fatalities in the state to 79, while 24 patients have died due to other ailments, the health official said.
Ganjam has reported 48 of the 79 COVID-19 deaths, followed by 13 in Khurda, eight in Cuttack, two in Puri and one each in Angul, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Gajapati, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Rayagada and Sundergarh, he said.
The number of active cases in the state now stands at 4,412, while 10,877 people have recovered from the disease.
A total of 3,61,920 samples have been tested for COVID-19 so far, the official added.
With 66 per cent of positive cases being detected from Ganjam, Khurda, Cuttack and Jajpur districts along with Rourkela Municipal Corporation area of Sundergarh district, the state government has decided to impose fresh lockdown in these areas from 9 pm of July 17 till midnight of July 31, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said.
During this period, essential services will be available while people’s mobility is prohibited. The government will undertake surveillance, testing and isolation of positive cases during these 14 days, Tripathy said.
Meanwhile, the state government started using plasma therapy for the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients. One patient at Ashiwini Hospital in Cuttack has been infused with plasma.
His condition is stable and he is under observation, said Jayant Panda, the technical advisor to the state health department.
Three units of plasma were sent to another COVID-19 hospital in Bhubaneswar for transfusion, an official said, adding that the authorities are in talks with prospective donors who are physically and clinically fit to donate plasma.
The recovered corona patients from NDRF and fire brigade, who do not have any symptoms after their recovery, will donate plasma soon, he hoped.
A report from Ganjam district said the office of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation has been closed to the public for 14 days from Thursday after several of its employees have been infected with coronavirus.