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State flags Remdesivir shortage: Dip in Covid infections, tests in Odisha

On Tuesday, the state reported 10 deaths and 6,073 new cases -- down from 6,599 on Monday and 6,647 cases on Sunday. In the districts neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the positivity rate remained higher than the state’s average.

Written by Aishwarya Mohanty | Bhubaneswar |
April 28, 2021 8:01:44 am
Odisha covid cases, Odisha news, Odisha covid tests, Remdesivir, Odisha, Bhubaneswar, Indian expressApril alone added nearly 19 per cent of all the cases reported in the state so far. However, the number of tests has gone down. (Representationl)

While health experts in Odisha claim the Covid curve is close to plateauing and a downward trend is expected soon, the state has gradually reduced the number of tests in the past one week. “In Odisha for the past few days, the cases have continuously remained between 6,000-6,500 after a gradual increase in the last one month. So we consider that we are now nearing a plateau now. In the near future we can expect the cases to decline,” said Dr CBK Mohanty, Director, Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET).

April alone added nearly 19 per cent of all the cases reported in the state so far. However, the number of tests has gone down.

On April 22, 43,538 samples were tested, which reduced to 39,642 on April 25 and 36,845 on April 26. However the positivity rate in the corresponding time period increased from 14.27 per cent on April 22 to 16.48 to April 27. The highest positivity rate in the first wave of pandemic was recorded on July 24 last year, at 16.11 per cent when 1,503 people had tested positive of the total 9,327.

On Tuesday, the state reported 10 deaths and 6,073 new cases — down from 6,599 on Monday and 6,647 cases on Sunday. In the districts neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the positivity rate remained higher than the state’s average.

Multiple studies have predicted that the cases may rise to 10,000-15,000 a day in May and then eventually decline. “The cases are now low because of the decline in tests. The state should ideally test 60,000-70,000 cases a day to understand the actual scenario in the state,” health expert Dr Narayan Mishra said.

However, the state health department maintained that the targeted number of daily tests was 50,000. “There has been a marginal decrease in the number of tests which could be due to the weekend lockdown or the unfavourable climatic conditions…the increasing temperatures. We are prepared for testing 50,000 samples a day,” said Dr Jayant Panda, technical advisor to the state health department. He said transportation of samples from remote districts which do not have RT-PCR testing centres affects the total daily tally.

On Tuesday, Odisha also flagged shortage of remdesivir injection in the state. Drugs Controller A S Das said, “The allocation of remdesivir vials by the Centre for the state between April 21 and April 30 was 21,000. The requirement yesterday was nearly 2,000 vials but we received only 92…We have written to the Central government to provide more stocks.”

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