Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur Feb 28: The Sambalpur district administration in Odisha on Sunday declared at least 11 hostels as Micro Containment Zones and nearby areas in Burla town as Buffer Zones after 24 students of Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT) tested positive for COVID-19 in three days, an official said. The state’s caseload went up to 3,37,191 after a total of 87 new COVID-19 cases were detected from 24 districts.
Odisha also reported one more COVID fatality, taking the death toll to 1,916. The total number of people who have been cured of coronavirus mounted to 3,34,571 after 52 patients recovered from the disease during the day.
Official sources said that three students of one hostel of VSSUT had first tested positive for the infection, while subsequent contact tracing found COVID-19 in 21 others. Stating that further contact tracing is on, a notification issued by the Sambalpur district administration said that only essential activities shall be allowed in the Micro Containment Zone.
It said that nobody can enter or exit from the containment zones except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. There are about 1,500 students including women are staying in 11 hostels of the varsity.
Apart from the hostels, the district authorities have also declared Jagruti Vihar, a colony of the Mahanadi coalfield Limited (MCL), as a micro containment zone as it is located in the proximity of the university campus. Police personnel have been deployed outside the containment zones, the official said.
While all the residents of the containment zone and buffer zones are strictly asked to remain indoors, all the shopping establishments also remained closed. The University reopened on January 10 adhering to Covid-19 guidelines and students with Covid negative certificates were only allowed to stay in the hostels.
“Students might have got the infection from outside as they roamed around Burla town though they stay in hostels,” an official said. Of the 87 new coronavirus cases, 53 came from quarantine centres and 34 were local contact cases.
The number of active cases in Odisha now stands at 651. While the states coronavirus death toll climbed to 1916 after one more death in Puri district, a total of 53 other COVID-19 patients have also died due to comorbidities, he said.
The state has thus far conducted over 83.21 lakh sample tests for COVID-19 including 21,192 on Saturday, the health and family welfare department said.
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