Odisha on Friday recorded 10,273 new COVID-19 cases, 214 more than the previous day's count, with the tally rising to 11,11,879, a health department bulletin said.
The death toll mounted to 8,476 as four more persons succumbed to the disease, the highest single-day COVID fatalities in more than two months, it said.
The daily test positivity rate (TPR) rose to 13.57 per cent from 12.41 per cent the previous day, the bulletin said.
At least 1,065 children were among the newly-infected patients.
Khurda district reported one-third of the fresh infections as 3,496 people, including 1,148 in Bhubaneswar, were afflicted with the disease. There were 1,049 new cases in Sundargarh, 844 in Cuttack, 529 in Sambalpur and 457 in Balasore.
Odisha now has 53,171 active cases, including 17,354 in Khurda, which is in the red zone along with Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Cuttack. Districts with over 2,500 active infections are included in the red zone.
Puri, Balasore and Mayurbhanj are among the six districts that are in the yellow zone with over 1,000 patients each.
The four fatalities were reported from Cuttack, Bhadrak, Sundargarh and Jagatsinghpur districts, the bulletin said. The state had previously recorded four COVID deaths on November 8.
Fifty-three other coronavirus-positive patients have died due to comorbidities so far, according to data.
At least 1,447 patients recuperated from the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 10,50,179.
The state conducted 75,731 sample tests for COVID-19 on Thursday, down from 81,065 the previous day, the bulletin added.
Meanwhile, the health ministry data said that seven districts have weekly TPR of 10 per cent or more from January 7 to 13, while it is 5 per cent or above for 11 others.
Sundargarh has a weekly TPR of 28.07 per cent, while it is 24.18 per cent in Khurda, 18.96 per cent in Balasore and 18.02 per cent in Sambalpur. Cuttack has a positivity of 11.92 per cent and it is 9.16 per cent in Puri, the ministry added.
Health Services Director Bijay Mohapatra said the state was in a "better position" if the hospitalisation rate at the current TPR was compared to that of the second wave. "But, we shouldn't be complacent," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Koraput MP Saptagiri Ulaka in a Twitter post said that he had tested positive for the disease and isolated himself at home.
At the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (Vimsar) in Sambalpur, the first and second-year MBBS examinations, which were scheduled to commence on Saturday and Tuesday respectively, have been postponed amid rising Covid-19 cases.
"Around 50 MBBS students have been infected with the virus," Vimsar director Lalit Meher said.
In Puri, police said it had sealed two commercial coaching centres that were found having heavy indoor gatherings in "blatant" violation of COVID-safety protocols.
The Cuttack district administration has also sealed three courts - Civil Judge, SDJM and Sessions and District Court - following detection of a number of COVID-19 positive cases.
Altogether 30 employees including 10 doctors of Capital Hospital here, tested COVID-19 positive affecting health service in the state capital. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared 11 more places as containment zone.
The aspirants of the Odisha Civil Service Friday staged a demonstration here demanding postponement of the examination which is scheduled to begin from January 20.
About 100 of our candidates have already been hit with COVID-19. Therefore, we demand postponement of the examination to give equal chance to all, said one of the agitating aspirants Bijay Kumar.
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