West Bengal on Friday reported a record 1,198 cases, and 26 deaths as it continued to reel from a continued upswing in fatalities and infections.
This was the second 1,000-plus increase in daily cases in as many days — the statewide count rose to 27,109 — while the toll rose to 880 after the sixth straight day of more than 20 fatalities. This week there have already been three consecutive record rises in cases, and this surge pushed up the active caseload to 8,881 on Friday.
Among those who have tested positive are actress Koel Mallick, her husband and movie producer Nispal Singh Rane, mother Deepa Mallick, and father Ranjit Mallick, who is a renowned actor. “Baba, Ma, Rane and I have tested Covid-19 positive…self quarantined!” she tweeted.
Earlier this month, actor and BJP leader Locket Chatterjee had tested positive.
While infections in the state have surged, the rise in recoveries, seen mid-June, has stalled. This month, the discharge rate has been 61.02%, almost three percentage points less than the overall recovery rate of 63.99%. The discharge rate has been consistently dropping since July 4.
Keeping with the trend, Kolkata, and the adjoining districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Howrah continued to report the bulk of the cases and deaths. On Friday, these districts reported 936 or 78% of the latest infections, and 24 of the deaths. The only other two fatalities occurred in Malda and Purba Medinipur districts.
According to the government data, almost 82% of the infections and 90% of the fatalities this month have been reported from Kolkata, its adjoining districts, and Hooghly.
Infections, meanwhile, also continued to climb in Malda and Darjeeling in North Bengal on Friday as the two districts reported a combined 77 cases. Of the other districts in the region, Jalpaiguri has reported 109 cases this month, and has an active caseload of 104 at present.
The only cheerful news came from Jhargram, which became Covid-free for the third time after the six patients in the district hospital were discharged.
According to the state health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 8,827 migrant returnees and 4,905 other people are still in government quarantine.
The government said 34,254 people remain isolated at home, and 257 persons were still in safe homes.
Eden Gardens to be converted into quarantine facility for police force
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Friday said that Eden Gardens will be used for makeshift quarantine facility for police personnel.
The decision was taken after a meeting of CAB representatives with Kolkata Police officers at Lal Bazaar on Friday.
“It is our duty to help and support the administration in this hour of crisis. The quarantine facility would be used for police personnel who are Covid warriors,” CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said.
According to the cricket body, the galleries in four blocks – E, F, G, and H – will be used as a quarantine facility. “In case, more space is required, then J block might also be used. Such areas would be thoroughly segregated as a safety measure,” a statement issued by CAB read.
Accordingly, the groundsmen and other staff would be shifted to the dormitories and other safer spaces in B, C, K, and L blocks inside the stadium, it added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines