COVID-19 situation in Odisha likely to improve in mid-Sept: ILS

Bhubaneswar: Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in Odisha, the city-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) under the central government’s Department of Biotechnology, said that the coronavirus situation in the state is likely to improve from the second week of September.

This was stated by ILS director Dr Ajay Parida.

He claimed that the situation will gradually normalise after reaching the peak in the first week of September.

“This (fall in cases) has happened in Ganjam district and will occur in other parts of the state,” Dr Parida said on Monday, adding that testing, tracing and isolation are the three major factors to contain the spread of the infection in the community.

He said despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, the state continues to maintain a high rate of recoveries and low rate of fatalities. “This is a good sign,” Parida said, adding that the positivity rate is also on decline with an increase in the number of tests.

“The positivity and fatality rates in Odisha is much below the national average”, he said.

The ILS director, however, expressed apprehensions over re-emergence of the virus.

“Though the rate of spread of COVID-19 had come down in Kerala, it again surfaced in that state. Going by this analysis, one cannot accurately predict complete eradication of the infection,” he said.

The ILS which along with the ICMRs RMRC (Regional Medical Research Centre) is undertaking genomic study in Odisha, said that the second phase study taking 120 samples is underway.

The genomic study is being conducted to trace the new strain of the virus. The first phase study involving 225 samples had revealed that different COVID-19 strains were detected in the state. They were: 19A, 19B, 20A, 20B and 20C. Of the five, 20A and 20B strains have been detected in large numbers while 20C is alone found in Odisha.

Meanwhile, 2,239 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Odisha on Tuesday, pushing the tally in the state to 64,533, while the death toll climbed to 362, with nine people succumbing to the infection.

(PTI)

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