Covid count falls to significant low in Odisha’s tribal district Nuapada | Bhubaneswar News


BHUBANESWAR: Nuapada district, which until two weeks ago was as big a concern as Khurda and Sundargarh in terms of daily Covid count, moved to green zone with the district having just 490 active cases.
This made the government bring in relaxation in the market opening hour during the lockdown till 1 pm instead of 11 am to ensure a little more economic activities.
Not long ago on May 17, its active cases were more than 2000 and it had been reporting more than hundred cases daily till May 22. But, its daily Covid count steadily started falling. The district on Monday reported 53 new cases even as it had reached single day peak of 700 cases in the first week of May.
“Even before the government decided to impose lockdown from May 5, we had the three urban centres- Khariar, Khariar Road and Nuapada- in almost lockdown state with traders self-regulating them and cutting down on market opening hours. We also streamlined the testing from the very beginning of the second wave hitting the district. We as a small district started to test 1000 samples when many bigger districts were not doing test in that scale. This helped us isolated the infected ones,” said Swadha Dev Singh, collector, Nuapada, on the district witnessing fast drop in daily cases.
The biggest challenge the district machinery faced was to access the villages and test the tribal population as the district is tribal dominated. The virus then had spread into the hinterlands. “We went to the panchayats, where Chakutia Bhunjia community lives. We conducted their test and some of which returned positive. They were then isolated and given available treatment,”
Though is a smaller district compared to its neighbour Balangir and Kalahandi, its disadvantage is it is close Chhattisgarh capital Raipur, where cases were exploding in March and April. It had direct bearing on Nuapada. The district accumulated more than 15, 000 cases in the second wave with the total count touching 21990. The district’s Civid fatality touched 56 with one more death on Monday. According to health department data, as many as 30 patients have died in the second wave.
Prasanna Padhi, Nuapada Bar Association president said since the district is now witnessing a fall in cases, more economic activities should be allowed. “There is no harm in allowing the shops to open till 1 pm. The poor traders are suffering a lot,” he said.

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