Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday halted vaccination drive in 16 districts due to "shortage" of Covishield doses, amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, an official said. The inoculation exercise was temporarily stopped during the day in Angul, Bolangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Bhadrak, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur and Jharsuguda, he said.
No COVID-19 vaccination drive was conducted in Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Sonepur and Sundargarh, the official said. Only 114 sessions are being held on Thursday, including 72 in the state capital Bhubaneswar where Covaxin doses are being administered to the people.
"Apart from the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area, Covishield vaccine is being used in other parts of the state. The health department authorities stopped the inoculation drive in the 16 districts due to shortage of the vials," the official said. The state has a stock of only 19,520 Covishield doses and 3,24,910 Covaxin vials till this morning, he said.
The government was not able to conduct the immunisation programmes in 11 districts on Wednesday due to the scarcity of Covishield doses, the official said. The state is expecting a consignment of 6 lakh vials of the vaccine on Friday, he said.
Meanwhile, 3,087 more people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the tally in the state to 9,12,887, the official said. Forty-five fresh fatalities due to the infection pushed the death toll to 4,063, he said.
Of the new cases, 1,775 were reported from quarantine centres, and the remaining 1,312 detected during contact tracing. Khurda district, of which the state capital Bhubaneswar is a part, reported the highest number of fresh cases at 584, followed by Cuttack (462) and Balasore (246).
Taking to Twitter, the Health and Family Welfare Department said, "Regret to inform the demise of forty-five COVID positive patients while under treatment in hospitals." Of the fresh fatalities, nine were reported from Khurda, five each from Nayagarh and Puri, four each from Ganjam and Keonjhar, three each from Bargarh and Sundargarh districts. Two deaths each were recorded in Angul, Cuttack and Sambalpur and one patient each succumbed to the infection in Balasore, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Mayurbhanj and Nabarangpur, the official said.
Odisha now has 31,231 active cases, while 8,77,540 patients have recovered from the disease. The state has so far tested over 1.38 crore samples for COVID-19, including 74,000 on Wednesday, and the positivity ratio stands at 6.59 per cent.
After a gap of around two months, bus services resumed in some places from Thursday as the state government had announced relaxations in COVID restrictions in some parts of the state. The movement of buses and public transport has been allowed in 20 districts where the test positivity rate (TPR) remains below 5 per cent.
The Odisha government on Wednesday extended the partial lockdown in the state for 15 more days till 5 AM on July 16.