Health department officials in Odisha heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as the daily Covid positive count stayed around the 200 mark for the second successive day. But they have warned the people that there is no room for complacency yet.
Odisha reported 208 fresh positive cases on Saturday, a day after the daily Covid count went below 200 after nearly seven months. On Friday, the state had registered 174 fresh cases, a figure last seen on March 24, 2021 at the beginning of the deadly second wave of the pandemic. To put things in perspective, the state was reporting cases in excess of 12, 000 at the height of the second wave in May-June.
In what came as a matter of great relief for health officials, no fresh cases were reported from as many as nine out of the 30 districts in the state while only three districts reported cases in double digit. Khurda, which has proved to be a constant headache for those in charge of managing the pandemic, reported the highest number of 99 cases while Cuttack stood a distant second with 20 and Jajpur at 12. While 51, 830 samples were tested, the test positivity rate (TPR) stayed at 0.40%. 23 of the 208 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours were in the 0-18-year age group.
Notwithstanding the notable drop in the number of fresh cases, health department officials have said people shouldn’t lower their guard since the pandemic hasn’t retreated fully yet. “It is certainly a matter of relief that the number of fresh cases has come down significantly. But the people must continue to follow Covid appropriate behavior since the threat is not over yet. Many countries are still battling with a third wave,” said Dr Bijay Mohapatra, director of health services.
Health officials are keeping their fingers crossed, saying fresh infections have to stay around or below 200 for at least a week before it can be said with certainty that they are on a downward spiral.