- Till date, Odisha has reported 826 cases of coronavirus
- The first case of COVID-19 in Bhubaneswar was reported on March 15
- Bhubaneswar has been able to treat all its 57 affected coronavirus patients
New Delhi: On Monday (May 18), Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar was declared free of Novel coronavirus, a highly contagious infectious disease that made an entry in the city two months ago. Declaring the city free from the virus, Odisha chief secretary Asit Tripathy, in a recent statement said, that with the recovery of three people who had tested positive on May 8, all the 57 people in Bhubaneswar who had tested positive have recovered and it is India’s first state capital to attain this status.
Earlier, the 57 cases in the city had led to Bhubaneswar being tagged as a red zone in the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines leading to several restrictions within the city to contain the spread of the virus. Talking about the steps taken by the city to stop the spread of the virus, an official from the chief secretary office said,
When Bhubaneshwar became a hotspot in March with 38 per cent of Odisha’s coronavirus cases coming from the city, we immediately came with a combat action plan. Two IAS officers each working on COVID-19, divided the city into three zones and testing was scaled up. Zone with higher cases got the testing done first followed by the rest of the two zones. Static camps in the city were started at some locations to guide people about the coronavirus disease and collect samples, while mobile camps visited the most vulnerable areas to collect samples for testing.
In mid-April, the city also started rapid testing, which is basically a serological test in which blood is taken from the vein and the result is known in 15-30 minutes, apart from regular sample tests to fast track the testing process in the city. Moreover, testing was also divided into three categories in the city – Category 1 included people having travel history to foreign countries or to any corona hotspot within the country, persons having flu symptoms, people who have come in contact with identified COVID-19 patients, and persons having a severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). The second category included police personnel, those engaged in the health sector, and sanitation workers. Whereas, the third priority category had senior citizens and people having other diseases.
Taking about Odisha overall that has a population of more than 4 crores (as per census 2011), till date the state has managed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus to some extent as far as the number of cases is concerned. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the state has around 876 cases of coronavirus, of which, four people have been reported dead and 220 have been recovered. Moreover, it is India’s first state to have COVID-19 specialised hospitals in all its 30 districts.
According to the government data, on March 16 Odisha reported its first case of coronavirus and since then the state has been able to come up with 34 COVID-19 specialised hospitals with 5,493 beds and 296 ICU beds with the adequate facilities to treat the coronavirus patients. 15 testing laboratories have also been created for sample testing. Till date, around 1,00,302 samples have been tested for coronavirus.