COVID testing deadline extended in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In view of upsurge in COVID cases in some States, Odisha Government extended the COVID testing deadline till April 30 from March 31.

As some States including Maharashtra and Kerala witnessed a significant rise in Coronavirus cases, Odisha Government has decided to increase the number of testing for which six doctors and one official in rank of special secretary have been assigned to monitor the process.

“Even as the COVID infections are under control in Odisha, we need to remain on alert. We want to make sure that people visiting from outside the State are not infected with Coronavirus. We are discussing with the RMRC, ILS researchers and Directorate of Public Health on imposing restrictions on movement of returnees,” said State Health & Family Welfare Additional Chief Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra.

Keeping the rise in COVID cases in mind in Maharashtra and Kerala, passengers visiting from five high-risk States including these two, are undergoing thermal screening test in airports and railway stations. The COVID test is being conducted only on returnees with symptoms. If required, other States can be listed in the category, he added.

On vaccination drive, Mohapatra said that the State has targeted to administer COVID vaccines on 1 lakh senior citizens per day. The inoculation programme to give jab to people under elderly age group will end by May 15.

So far, 10,94,952 persons have been vaccinated in the State. Yesterday, 77,094 persons received the vaccine, of which 393 healthcare workers took the first dose and 5,698 were administered the second dose. As many as 941 frontline Corona warriors were vaccinated with the first dose and 20,753 with second dose. Similarly, 47,179 senior citizens were given the shot on 12th day of the third phase vaccination programme. Besides, 2,940 persons above 45 age and below 59 with comorbidities were administered the vaccine on Friday. Till yesterday, total 3,00,589 elderly persons have been vaccinated in the State.

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