Health

COVID-19: Strict measures can’t prevent Odisha’s 4th case

Had a travel history to Dubai, contacts being tracked, said officials

 
By Ashis Senapati
Published: Wednesday 01 April 2020
Odisha's Lingaraj temple complex. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Odisha reported its fourth novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) positive case on March 31, 2020 despite a slew of measures to guard against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Odisha had moved in early with precautionary measures. It was among the first states to lock down parts of the state.

The state's resources, however, have been under stress as migrant workers thronged back after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown. 

Despite the preventive measures,  a 29-year-old male from Bhadrak district became the state’s fourth case.

“The man had a travel history to Dubai,” officials from the health and family welfare department tweeted.

Three persons from Bhubaneswar had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.

“Diagnostic reports of 473 samples sent for confirmation were found to be negative for COVID-19, as on March 31, 2020. There is no semblance of community transmission in Odisha because of self-isolation and social distancing,” said Subroto Bagchi, state’s chief spokesperson on COVID-19.

About 167 people who had come in contact with three identified COVID-19 positive patients have been tracked.

The tracking process to ascertain the number of people who came in contact with the fourth COVID-19 patient was underway, added Bagchi.

About 57 tracked people are now under hospital isolation.

Over 11,575 persons registered themselves online and through 104 health helpline. Of them, 4,304 had travel history to other countries.

Bagchi added that 377 quarantine centres having 32,538 beds across 114 urban local bodies have been identified.

Meanwhile, the state government identified three people who returned from Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi to their villages after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. They have been asked to quarantine themselves, Bagchi added.

"We directed all district collectors to identify people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Hazrat Nizamuddin, which is also a COVID-19 epicentre,” added the official.

Meanwhile, district collector of Jajpur suspended five staff members and issued showcause notices to seven government employees, including five doctors, for their alleged negligence in discharging their duties.

The employees were suspended for “failing to manage village markets due to which buyers violated social distancing norms”.

The district administration recommended the state government to suspend additional block development officer, Danagadi block, for dereliction of duty.

The authorities also issued showcause notices to chief development project officer, Jajpur, and chief development project officer, Dharmasala, for being absent on March 30.

Showcause notices to the five doctors was issued for being absent during the deputy collector’s surprise visit.

The action was taken for dereliction of duty and failing to ensure public health and safety during lockdown restrictions, said Ranjan Kumar Das, collector, Jajpur.

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