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Odisha fears Stage 3 of COVID-19 after 60-year-old with no recent travel history tests positive


Bhubaneswar, Mar 27: Odisha on Friday expressed concern that the coronavirus could be advancing towards community transmission in the state, after a 60-year-old man with no recent travel history tested positive.

Odisha fears Stage 3 of COVID-19 after 60-yr-old with no recent travel history tests positive

During phase-1, the focus was on foreign returnees and later, the surveillance shifted to people coming to Odisha from other states, Odisha's COVID-19 chief spokesman Subroto Bagchi said.

"Now, with the third confirmed case having no foreign travel history, we see a possibility of the outbreak moving into Stage-III, which is community transmission," he said.

Citing the instance of a 61-year-old South Korean woman who reportedly infected 1,160 people, Bagchi appealed to the people of the state not to become "super spreaders" in this period of crisis. He said though the second patient, a London-return student, had come in contact with 55 people, "nobody knows" how many people mixed with the latest COVID-19 positive man who travelled through Odisha, Delhi and Haryana, and visited the Odisha assembly dispensary, Kar Clinic and Capital Hospital.

The wife, daughter and driver of the elderly man have been placed in isolation and 10 teams are engaged in tracing his contacts. He had also come in contact with an employee of the Odisha assembly due to which staff were placed under home quarantine, officials said.

The concluding day of the budget session on March 30 will now be held at the Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat, instead of the assembly building, they said. Bagchi said the states Patient-3 (the 60-yr-old man) had returned to Odisha on March 10 in a flight from Delhi, and then visited the dispensary of the assembly with symptoms similar to COVID-19, followed by a private clinic and finally, the state-run Capital Hospital on March 25.

The sample of the person tested positive on March 26. Acting tough, the state government also placed under suspension Lalit Behera, the medical officer of the legislative assembly dispensary, where the patient initially went for treatment, on disciplinarian ground. Behera will remain under the administrative control of the director of Capital Hospital, a notification issued by the Health & Family Welfare Department said.

The department also expressed displeasure over the manner in which private clinics were handling patients showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

"In spite of repeated advisories, some private healthcare facilities are not complying with the COVID-19 regulations. Government urges them to act responsibly and follow the norms while treating patients with flu-like symptoms. Non-compliance shall be viewed seriously," the department said in a tweet.

Bagchi said that so far 256 samples were sent for COVID-19 test and reports of 189 samples have been obtained. Three of them have tested positive. He said a total of 4,495 people who returned from abroad are under surveillance, while 37 persons are in hospital isolation.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik provided some succour to the poor reeling under the lockdown with a Rs 2,200-crore package. Under the package, 94 lakh beneficiaries of food security cover will be given ration for three months in advance and Rs 1,000 each.

Similarly, 48 lakh beneficiaries under different social security schemes will get four months' pension in advance, and 22 lakh registered construction workers Rs 1,500 each. The state has set up 36 camps for 5,547 migrant workers from different states.

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