Fifty-three girl pupils of a government-aided high school in Odisha's Sundargarh district and 22 MBBS students of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Burla in Sambalpur tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three days, a health official said.
The state's coronavirus tally rose to 10,47,386 on Tuesday as 212 more people, including 70 children, tested positive for the infection; while two fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 8,396, he said.
"The girls have been isolated and special provisions have been made for their treatment. Their health condition is normal, while the educational institute has been shut for a week," Sister Petrica, headmistress of St Merry Girls' School, said.
The infected students are studying in classes 8, 9 and 10, and they were tested for COVID-19 after a majority of them exhibited symptoms of cold and cough, she said, adding that the district administration and health authorities have been informed about it.
The 22 MBBS students of VIMSAR, Burla have been admitted to the COVID hospital. Authorities suspect that the infection might have spread from the institute's annual function held recently. They have convened an urgent meeting on the prevailing situation on the campus.
While there has been a significant decline in the spread of the infection across Odisha, the sudden spurt in cases in the western districts of Sundargarh and Sambalpur is a cause of concern, health expert Dr Narayan Mishra said.
Of the 212 new cases registered in the state, 123 were reported in quarantine centres, while the remaining 89 infections were detected during contact tracing. Fourteen of the 30 districts did not record any new case.
The rate of infection among the 0-18 age group stood at 33.01 per cent against 19.88 per cent on the previous day.
Khurda district, under which Bhubaneswar falls, registered the highest number of new cases at 90, followed by Sundargarh (39) and Mayurbhanj (13).
The state had registered 171 cases on Monday, 205 on Sunday, 239 on Saturday, and 242 on Friday.
Both the two fresh fatalities were reported in Khurda. Fifty-three other patients have died due to comorbidities so far.
The state now has 2,191 active cases, while 10,36,746 people have recovered from the disease so far, including 245 in the last 24 hours.
Odisha has tested over 2.33 crore samples for COVID-19 to date, including 48,143 on Monday. The state's cumulative positivity rate stood at 4.48 per cent while the daily test positivity rate was at 0.44 per cent.
More than 1.45 crore people have been fully vaccinated so far.