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54% COVID-19 patients in Odisha asymptomatic

Bhubaneswar: As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Odisha, the Health Department data shows that nearly 54% of the positive cases detected so far are asymptomatic. As asymptomatic COVID-19 cases can only be detected following contact tracing of positive cases and subsequent testing, it remains a challenge for the administration.

The only thing which has come as a relief is the fact that only 7% people, who have tested positive for COVID-19, fall in the vulnerable category, i.e. 60 years and above.

National Health Mission Director, Shalini Pandit on Thursday informed that nearly 64% of the COVID-19 positives in Odisha so far are in the age group of 0-40 years. “Nearly 29% COVID patients are in the age group of 41 to 60 years while only 7% patients are 60 years and above. So far, out of the total COVID19 tally, 72% are males compared to 28% females,” said Pandit.

As per the total distribution of Covid-19 patients, maximum cases (54%) are asymptomatic while 46% are symptomatic. We are testing more persons with COVID symptoms and even asymptomatic contacts of positive cases in the State, Pandit added. The NHM director further informed that major chunk of the total COVID-19 positive cases in the State are people who had either attended funerals or marriage functions.

The total COVID-19 recovery rate in the State stands at 63%, she informed.

Clearing the confusion over contradicting COVID-19 test results where some people have complained that after testing positive as per government lab results, they subsequently came out negative in testing at private labs; Pandit clarified that as it is a virus infection and the test results are dependent on viral load at the time of testing and could give alternate results due to fluctuation in the load.

“As per study, it usually takes the virus 4 to 5 days to infect the body. Due to antibodies, the viral load will decrease and the report might come out negative. There is no denying the fact that test results of a person may differ at different times. However, there is no fault of labs be it government or private as all of them have got approval from ICMR,” said Pandit.

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