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Odisha Reports First Coronavirus Death as Infections Rise to 41 in Past 24 Hours

Bhubaneswar: The first death linked to Coronavirus infection in Odisha came to light on Tuesday even as the number of infected people in the coastal state jumped to 41 in the past 24 hours.

According to the state health department, a 72-year-old man from Jharpada area in capital Bhubaneswar died at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, on Monday. Swab samples taken from his body tested positive on Tuesday. He was admitted at the hospital on April 4 with a complaint of respiratory distress and had a history of chronic hypertension and high blood pressure. It is believed that he succumbed to COVID-19 infection.

Following his death, health department officials launched contact tracing of the deceased in an effort to find out possible infections he might have transmitted to those who came in contact with him. Efforts to mark the area around the man’s house as a containment zone also started.

A few minutes before reports of the first death came, another COVID-19 positive case was identified in Madhusudan Nagar area of Bhubaneswar. Officials said it is a 45-year-old man with no travel history. He was swiftly taken for treatment and his family members were isolated and subjected to tests for the novel coronavirus.

The state health department had said on Monday night that a 32-year-old man from the coastal Kendrapada district who had returned from Dubai on March 24 had confirmed positive for COVID-19.

With these two cases, the number of people who tested positive in Odisha so far has risen to 42. Out of them, two have been cured and discharged and one succumbed to the infection. The number of active cases in the state now stands at 39.

Odisha has so far conducted tests of 1,908 people. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is personally monitoring the state’s fight against the pandemic and frequently issuing public appeals for safety, has asked for increasing the tests by opening three more test centres in the state.

The state government has put in place seven medical facilities with about 2,000 beds exclusively for treatment of COVID-19. Several areas in the state, mainly in Bhubaneswar, have been converted into containment zones after coronavirus positive people were identified there. As many as 32 of the state’s total 42 infected people were identified at Bomikhal area in Bhubaneswar.

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