Third Covid-19 case in Odisha; 60-year-old man had travelled from Delhi

A 60-year-old man, who had returned to Bhubaneswar from Delhi, has tested positive for Covid-19, making him the third person to have contracted the coronavirus disease in Odisha.

Sources in the state government said the man had returned from Delhi on March 9 to his residence in Bhubaneswar and suffered from cough and cold since then. However, he did not go to any hospital and self-medicated.

When the cold and cough did not subside, he went to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar where he has been kept in an isolation ward. His swab samples tested positive for Covid-19 in the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) on Thursday.

Officials said several teams have been deployed start contact tracing of the third patient as there are fears that he may have infected a lot of people in last 11 days.

What has added to the woes of the officials is that he is among the 84,000 people who have back to Odisha from other states this month but the government has not kept any record. The government has also not done any random test on any of these people except thermal screening.

So far, 189 samples have been tested in RMRC’s laboratory and All India Institute of Medical Studies (AIIMS0, Bhubaneswar lab and of which 186 turned out to be negative. On Thursday, 25 samples were tested.

This comes seven days after a 19-year-old Bhubaneswar resident, studying in the UK, tested positive for Covid-19.

The son of AIIMS Bhubaneswar superintendent, who had returned from Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, had tested positive for Covid-19 on March 19. He arrived in Bhubaneswar by air on March 18 by IndiGo flight a few hours after he landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

At the Biju Patnaik International Airport, the thermal screening did not find anything amiss and he was allowed to leave. He complained he had a problem in breathing and was taken to AIIMS Bhubaneswar on March 19 morning. The report of his swab sample tested positive. He is recovering.

The Resident Doctors Association of AIIMS Bhubaneswar has complained against the superintendent, who is also the nodal officer of Covid-19 at AIIMS, kept them in the dark about his son’s international travel history.

A human rights activist later lodged a case against the superintendent before National Human Rights Commission alleging that he showed negligence. The AIIMS doctors also alleged that the hospital is lacking in personal protection equipment (protective gears) in Covid-19 clinic and casualty.

On March 15, a 33-year-old computer engineer tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from Italy. He came in contact with 129 people in Delhi, where he arrived on March 6 afternoon and showed no symptoms of Covid-19 at the airport, and Bhubaneswar.

The man is recovering but the government has not been able to contact all the 129 people he came in contact with during his travel.

The state government has taken a slew of measures to fight the spread and treatment of Covid-19. Hundreds have been booked for violating the lockdown regulations across the state.

The Odisha government signed MoUs with two private hospitals in Bhubaneswar on Thursday for a 950-bed isolation bed facility and 60 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

Odisha police arrested the chairperson of Dharmagarh Panchayat Samiti in Kalahandi district for organising a community feast for his house warming ceremony in violation of the Covid-19 guidelines that prohibit a gathering of more than seven people at a place.

So far, more than 400 people have been arrested in Odisha for violating the Covid-19 guidelines.

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