Odisha records its first COVID-19 death

Total COVID-19 positive cases at 42; state’s third exclusive COVID-19 hospital with 500 beds became operational on April 6 

By Priya Ranjan Sahu
Published: Tuesday 07 April 2020
AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar. Source: Wikipedia

Odisha recorded its first death from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on April 6, 2020. The state has recorded 42 positive cases so far.

“A 72-year-old man from Bhubaneswar’s Jharpada was admitted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar on April 4 with respiratory distress. He had a history of hypertension. He died on April 6, and was tested positive for COVID-19,” Odisha’s health and family welfare department tweeted on April 7.

A drive to trace people who came in contact with the deceased has already started, the department said. The process of containment of the area has also begun, it added.

A 45-year-old person from Bhubaneswar’s Madhusudan Nagar area tested positive for COVID-19 on April 7, the department said.

The government had earlier sealed Bomikhal area of the city after 15 COVID-19 positive cases were discovered there.

The government also sealed Lalmenta village in Ganjam district as 60 labourers had come back from Bomikhal four days ago.

Odisha’s positive cases jumped to 42 from five within five days. The number has drastically increased after single-day spikes of 15 and 18 cases on April 3 and April 5 respectively. Officials attributed the increase to higher rates of testing.

Chairing a high-level meeting in Bhubaneswar on April 6, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressed on strengthening COVID-19 testing facilities in southern and western parts of Odisha.

Accordingly, the government decided to increase the number of sample testing from 300 to 1,000 in the next five days.

So far, over 2,200 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in Regional Medical Research Centre and AIIMS in Bhubaneswar.

The Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Science and Research in Burla’s Sambalpur district and Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati Medical College in Berhampur are expected to start sample testing soon, following approval from Indian Council of Medical Research.

The state government’s chief spokesperson on COVID-19, Subroto Bagchi, said the third exclusive COVID-19 hospital with 500 beds and 25 bedded ICU facilities became operational on April 6. It was supported by national public sector unit Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MLC).

“At present, seven special COVID-19 hospitals with 1,547 bed capacity have been made functional in the state. These include Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack; Tata Hospital in Jajpur; Tata Hospital in Keonjhar; KIIMS and SUM in Bhubaneswar; ID Hospital in Puri; and Hi-Tech Medical College in Sundargarh,” Bagchi said.

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