‘COVID cases in Odisha capital increasing due to people coming from hotspot districts’

Bhubaneswar: The COVID-19 cases in Bhubaneswar are rising due to people visiting the city from hotspot districts, said Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary today.

Expressing steep hike in COVID-19 cases in last over a week, the Civic authority said that there are several reasons for surge in cases. The infection are on rise in Bhubaneswar due to hotspot district people, who are coming for healthcare and other work.

The BMC in coordination with the healthcare institution and public is continuously monitoring it.

However, overcrowded markets on Friday before weekend shutdown every week is the biggest concern for the BMC.

“If we analyse the COVID cases from July 1 to 10, 317 cases have been reported in last 10 days, of which 61 cases are linked to various hospitals. The cases, which had travel history and close contacts with infected persons, out of total cases in last 10 days are 212,” Chaudhary said in a presser today.

Following detection of COVID cases in the areas, the BMC authorities are following different strategies to take follow-up action to contain spread of Coronavirus.

“For cases where link has been established, we are shifting the patients to COVID hospitals, doing contact tracing and identifying the quarantine of direct and secondary contact and carrying out sanitisation in the area. But for cases where link could not be established, we are carrying out 14-day active surveillance, taking around 50 to 100 households to a nearby quarantine centre, conducting 100% testing of direct contacts, testing symptomatic indirect contacts and declaring containment zone if required, Chaudhary said.

The BMC has formed a slum committee that is carrying out house-to-house surveillance in slum areas, shifting symptomatic to institutional quarantine centres and conducting test to detect coronavirus. The Sachetak committee is supervising the awareness and enforcement of social distancing norms in slums.

Taking preventive measure, the BMC has ordered to keep returnees from hotspot districts — Ganjam, Cuttack, Balasore, Gajapati and Jajpur — to slums areas in institutional quarantine for a period of 14 days.

However, no home quarantine is allowed in slum area, the Commissioner made it clear in the press conference.

Amidst rising of cases, the BMC has also achieved success in fight against the virus.

“We achieved success because of community participation in large manner to deal with the COVID situation. Several volunteers have come forward suo-motto to help us in fight against COVID. We have got support of slum committees and peer leaders in slum areas particularly during containment, active support by puja committees, NGOs and other organisations throughout entire process.

He said that the community support is the SOP of BMC’s success.

However, BMC still is facing challenge in battle against COVID-19 in Bhubaneswar.

Apart from people from hotspot districts, violation of social distancing norm by people in market places is another reason for spread of COVID-19 in the city, he said.

He appealed to public for self monitoring, use online shopping, teleconsultation for normal health check-up and telemedicine, usage of Sachetak App, ringfencing and special care for vulnerable section of society.

He also suggested people with symptoms to contact 104 helpline for immediate assistance, critical cases to visit hospitals with all precautions, regular usage of masks and sanitizers, maintaining social distance upto 2 km everywhere, community involvement and accepting the new normal – Mo Sapatha Nua Abhyas.

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