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Kolkata’s positivity rate up 23%, state’s daily cases top 6K

The last time the number of new cases had breached the 6,000-mark in West Bengal was on 15 April, 2021 – in the middle of the second wave of pandemic -- when the state had reported 6,769 new cases.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 3, 2022 1:43:32 am
The current surge in the cases comes amidst the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the virus that has led to the jump in the cases in the country and across the globe. (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Kolkata’s test-positivity rate shot up to 23.42 per cent on Sunday as the city recorded 3,194 new Covid-19 cases — the highest in West Bengal and one of the highest in the country. According to a bulletin issued by the health department, the state reported 6,153 new cases in the last 24 hours – a six-fold jump in the last five days. On Wednesday, the state had reported 1,089 new cases. The number had jumped to 3,451 on Friday and 4,512 on Saturday.

The last time the number of new cases had breached the 6,000-mark in West Bengal was on 15 April, 2021 – in the middle of the second wave of pandemic — when the state had reported 6,769 new cases.
The current surge in the cases comes amidst the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the virus that has led to the jump in the cases in the country and across the globe.

The test-positivity rate in some of the adjoining districts of Kolkata also remained – North 24 Parganas (4.65 per cent), South 24 Parganas (4.58 per cent) and Howrah (10.76 per cent). Other districts that reported a high incidence of Covid-19 cases were Paschim Bardhaman (257 new cases) and Hooghly (280 new cases), the bulletin stated.

Overall, the test-positivity rate of the state stood at 15.93 per cent with 38,633 samples being tested in the past 24 hours.

With 6,153 new patients, West Bengal’s Covid-19 tally rose to 16,49,150 on Sunday, as per the bulletin. The toll due to the virus reached 19,781 with eight more deaths reported in the last 24 hours – three from North 24 Parganas and two from Kolkata.

The number of active cases on Sunday stood at 17,038 with 116 of them in hospitals, 15,770 in home isolation and 152 in safe homes.

At least 2,407 Covid-19 patients were discharged from medical facilities on Sunday, taking the total number of recoveries to 16,12,331, it said. The recovery rate among coronavirus patients stood at 97.77 per cent.

In the wake of the massive uptick in Covid-19 numbers, all medical colleges, 37 urban primary health care centres, 16 schools in Kolkata will administer Covid-19 vaccines to 15-18 year olds from Monday.

“A total of 479 blocks and urban local bodies will be administering vaccines in one school per Block/ULB. Further, 338 hospitals will start administering Covid-19 vaccines from Monday. Schools will be closed for the academic session but the vaccination programme will continue,” said Dr Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Health Services, West Bengal.

The state health department has also directed private hospitals in Kolkata to increase the number of beds and ramp up their infrastructure.

The total number of Covid-19 beds available in the state is 23,947, of which less than 2 per cent are currently occupied, the government said. About 50 per cent of these are oxygen beds.

In addition to seven private hospitals in Kolkata that were roped in for the treatment of new patients, 194 government hospitals have been dedicated for the treatment of Covid-19 positive patients in the state. These hospitals are likely to be converted to general hospitals but the sudden rise in cases has stalled the plan, said a senior official.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has identified 11 areas in the city as ‘micro-containment zones’. The civic body would be taking a final decision on their status on Monday.

Over the past week, several doctors and healthcare workers in the state were reported to have contracted the virus. Also, around 50 cops, including two IPS officers, were reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past few days.

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