Odisha reports 1,078 new COVID-19 cases, 65 fresh fatalities

 Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 9,90,075 on Wednesday as 1,078 more people tested positive for the infection, while 65 fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 6,630, a health official said.

The number of active cases in the state came down to 10,682 as 1,319 more people were cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 9,72,710.

Khurda district, under which Bhubaneswar falls, registered the highest number of new cases at 372, followed by Cuttack (147). No new case was recorded in Koraput, while the remaining districts reported fresh infections in double digits, he said.

Khurda also recorded the highest number of fresh fatalities at 20, followed by Cuttack (12) and Nayagarh (six).

The state has thus far tested over 1.67 crore samples for COVID-19, including 68,724 in the last 24 hours.

Odisha's cumulative positivity rate stands at 5.19 per cent, while the daily test positivity rate was at 1.56 per cent, the official said.

The state has inoculated over 1.84 crore people, of whom 42.55 lakh have been fully vaccinated.

Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra said that Odisha will have RT-PCR testing laboratories in all the 30 districts by August 15, up from 14 districts at present.

Bhadrak, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Sonepur, Kandhamal, Sundargarh, Rayagada and Bargarh districts do not have RT-PCR laboratories at present and tenders have been floated for the purpose, he said.

He said that Odisha will also set up its own genome sequencing facility to quickly detect mutation of the coronavirus, which will help in mitigating the possible third wave of the pandemic.

"All sentinel surveillance sites and laboratories have been asked to send around 10 per cent samples of total positive cases to the Institute of Life Science (ILS). RT-PCR laboratories will function in all the districts from August 15," he said.

Mishra said that 3,000 hospital beds have been kept ready and medical personnel trained for treatment of children, besides a drive to sensitise people about the possible third wave has also begun.

On the prevailing COVID situation, he said, "The graph indicates that the infection rate and the number of fresh cases have declined and the situation is no longer alarming."

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