Community transmission: COVID-19 situation turning worse in Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar is steadily plunging into a grim situation following an alarming spike in community transmission cases.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said 23 of the 25 cases (92%) detected in the city were local cases. The rest two cases had travel history to New Delhi and Kolkata.

Of the 314 cases reported from Bhubaneswar so far, 249 (80%) have been detected in June. Similarly, 120 have been detected from the community. On Sunday, only six positive cases were reported.

Six cases have been reported in Salia Sahi, the biggest slum of the State, in the city. At least 16 slums of Bhubaneswar have so reported positive cases.

The BMC directed private health institutions to provide accommodation to employees who live in slums. One third of the city population lives in slums where social distancing is practically not possible because of small houses and high population density.

“The employees of slum areas need to be kept in a shift of 14 days and hospital authorities will make accommodation arrangement for them within the hospital premises,” says a BMC notification.

“After the shift, the set of employees will be relieved of the duties after their COVID testing and negative report. The next set will then be given duties with the same procedure,” it says. City hospitals have been asked to appoint a nodal officer.

Focus on hotspot areas

Earlier apprehending that people from hotspot areas were contributing to the rise, the BMC had issued an order saying people who returned from Ganjam, Cuttack, Balasore, Gajapati and Jajpur districts to slum areas would be kept in institutional quarantine. The information of such returnees will be captured by the active slum surveillance team on daily basis.

“The containment measures have been intensified by the BMC. Ward Sachetak [awareness] Committees have been formed involving volunteers, patrons, retired senior doctors, paramedics, community leaders and intellectuals. Specific strategy has been prepared for vulnerable people,” said the BMC.

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