Bhubaneswar: Considering the 300-plus daily COVID-19 cases, the affected tally in the Odisha capital is likely to breach the 20,000-mark in a day or two.
With 19,544 positive cases as on Wednesday, Bhubaneswar has inched closer to the once COVID-19 hotspot of Ganjam district with 19,871 cases.
Bhubaneswar accounts for 58 per cent of the total 33,453 cases in Khurda district, which has been witnessing a surge in infection with 600 to 800 cases daily since the beginning of September.
The Odisha capital, which reported the state’s first COVID-19 case on March 15, was declared as free from the infection on May 18 following the recovery of 48 of the total 50 cases and death of the remaining two patients.
However, the next one month saw a few more contacts of previous patients testing positive for the virus.
The city added 894 new cases between June 17 and July 17 and another 4,444 cases in the following month.
The number of new cases surged to 11,808 between August 17 and September 17.
Restrictions on inter-district movements and weekend shutdowns had helped keep the virus under check in the city till August.
But with the Centre opening economic activities and easing restrictions on movement in September, the city saw an influx of people from other districts that led to a spurt in cases. However, it is the poor compliance of COVID-19 norms like wearing masks and maintaining social distance by the public which is being blamed for the rising cases.
On September 16, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed his displeasure over poor enforcement of COVID-19 norms in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the two cities that account for the bulk of the new cases.
Though Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Commissionerate is headed by a police commissioner (Sudhansu Sarangi now), the CM asked DGP Abhay to personally intervene in the matter.
Thereafter, enforcement measures were imposed at market places and hotspot areas with the increased deployment of personnel.