The Covid-19 pandemic in West Bengal continued to slow down this week as the average infection growth rate dropped from 1.73 per cent to 1.58 per cent. The state recorded 22,429 cases compared to 21,920 infections last week (September 6 to 13).
The doubling rate of infection — calculated over seven-day average growth — slowed further in this period, rising from 40 days to 44 days.
Even though over 3,000 cases were reported each day this week, the uptick in recovery rate continued. On Sunday, it rose to 87.05 per cent. Only Bihar and Tamil Nadu have better discharge rates among the top 10 states with the most cases.
According to the state health department, there was no discernible shift in the case fatality rate, which was 1.94 per cent on Sunday despite a record 414 deaths this week.
An encouraging sign has been the fall in the fatality rate across almost all age groups over the past three months. While for those above 75 years it was 19.2 per cent on June 20, by Sunday the rate was down to 13.5 per cent. A gender-wise analysis shows that the fatality rate of women dropped 2.91 percentage points between June 20 and September 20, while for men it declined 1.67 percentage points. According to the data, the share of co-morbidities in fatalities has risen from 72.2 per cent on June 20 to 85.7 per cent on Sunday.
While a bulk of the deaths (288), and almost half of the infections this week were reported from the south Bengal epicentre, the situation was also worrying in districts such as Bankura, Purulia, Paschim Bardhaman and Alipurduar. Bankura and Purulia have already added more cases than in August, while Paschim Bardhaman at present has 955 active cases.
The most alarming situation, however, is in Paschim Medinipur, which added 1,559 cases during the week, and now has 1,698 active cases. Along with neighbouring Purba Medinipur, it recorded 36 deaths.
In north Bengal, the situation is again worsening in Malda, which had 290 active cases over a week ago. Now, it has 638 patients. Authorities are also worried about Alipurduar, which reported 10 deaths in this period and saw its active cases jump from 513 at the end of last week to 652.
Meanwhile, MoS (Health and Family Welfare) Ashwini Kumar Choubey told the Rajya Sabha that West Bengal had the fourth-highest number of Covid treatment centres in India, trailing only Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The state has 1,224 treatment facilities and 84,510 ICU beds. With PTI
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