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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Kolkata: 3 more deaths, toll climbs to 15; Will ramp up rapid testing soon, says Chief Secy

At a press conference, Sinha said: “The state government today focussed on hotspots in seven districts —Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, and West Burdwan.”

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: April 22, 2020 3:18:15 am
A municipal worker delivers vegetables to a family in a containment zone in Dum Dum on Tuesday. Partha Paul

Three more deaths due to the novel coronavirus were reported in the state, taking the toll to 15, Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha said on Tuesday.

With 29 more positive cases, the number of active cases rose from 245 to 274, said the official. However, according to data on the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website, 392 people in the state have contracted the disease till date, and 73 have been discharged from hospitals after being cured, putting the number of active cases at 319.

At a press conference, Sinha said: “The state government today focussed on hotspots in seven districts —Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, and West Burdwan.”

The Chief Secretary told reporters that health officials started rapid testing from Tuesday, and collected 220 samples from different containment areas. “We are expecting that the number will increase soon,” Sinha added. He pointed out that since Monday “the quantum of sample tested had jumped to 713 and cumulative total sample tested went up to 6,182”.

From Wednesday, the number of samples tested is expected to increase since one laboratory each at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Rajarhat, and RG Kar Medical College and Hospital would also start examining specimens.

The Chief Secretary said many students from the state were stuck in the city of Kota in Rajasthan, but added it was not possible to bring them back at the moment.

“The guardians are repeatedly asking us to get back those students,” Sinha told reporters. “We think this is not desirable in this situation. I will talk to the Chief Secretary of Rajasthan, and also our nodal officer PB Salim will talk to their nodal officer Shreya Guha. The logistic support needed to get them back is not possible in this situation. We have requested them to stay there some more days.”

The Chief Secretary said the government was doing everything possible to maintain the lockdown. “We are monitoring the situation round the clock,” he added. “We booked 28,000 people for violating the lockdown. We also seized 3,000 vehicles, and filed cases against 3,100 people.”

At the moment, 5,016 people are in government quarantine, and 33,205 people are in home quarantine, according to the government.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited some containment areas here such as Rajarhat, Park Circus, and Metiabruz, and urged people to maintain the lockdown.

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