Bhubaneswar: In the wake of sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, the state government suspended permission for all inter-state passenger buses. However, the intra-state bus services will continue, Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said.
The state Monday reported the highest ever single-day rise in COVID-19 cases as 4,445 people tested positive, pushing the coastal state’s tally to over 3.72 lakh, a senior Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) department official said.
Four more people died in the state taking the death toll due the virus to 1,948, he said.
The previous daily high was recorded September 25 last year when the state reported 4,356 cases. All 30 districts in the state reported new cases, the official said. Of the new cases, 2,574 were reported from the quarantine centres, while the rest 1,871 were local contacts. Sundargarh, bordering Chhattisgarh, reported the highest 722 new cases. Khurda reported 587 cases, followed by Nuapada (437), Kalahandi (273), Cuttack (251) and Sambalpur (241). As many as 13 districts have reported over 100 cases, he said.
Two of the latest deaths were reported from Sundargarh, while Jharsuguda and Keonjhar reported one death each.
There are 24,568 active cases in the state at present, while 3.46 lakh patients have recovered so far.
There are around 9,000 beds in 48 hospitals across the state, while the number of active cases crossed the 24,000- mark, a health official said.
The government has decided to increase the number of beds by four-fold and make oxygen support available for more beds, he said.
Efforts are also underway to increase the number of ICU beds, he added.
There are only 541 ICU beds and 248 ventilator beds in the state, the official said, adding that the government is working to add 400 more ventilators.
Seven districts that have more than 1,000 active cases have been categorised as ‘Red Zone’. These districts are Sundargarh (4,375), Khurda (3,841), Sambalpur (1,408), Nuapada (1,377), Cuttack (1,363), Kalahandi (1,255) and Bargarh (1,236).
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Assembly, Pradipta Kumar Naik tested positive for COVID-19. The BJP leader confirmed it on his Twitter handle Tuesday. “After getting repeated tests for COVID-19, my report has come out positive. All those who have come in contact with me in the last 5 days may please get themselves tested and self isolate & take necessary precautions,” he tweeted.
In the wake of sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, the state government suspended permission for all interstate passenger buses. However, the intra-state bus services will continue, Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said.
The government also issued a new SOP for passenger buses operating within the state. While buses have been allowed to operate with full seating capacity, standing of passengers will not be permitted, Behera said.
Two passengers will be allowed in auto-rickshaws and taxis, he said.