It was a mixed week for West Bengal. The recovery rate zoomed to nearly 64.29% — an increase of 5.73 percentage points as compared to the previous week. However, the test-positivity rate was a high 7.29 per cent, remaining a concern for the health authorities in the state.
The test-positivity rate has been steadily increasing every week for the past one month. In the week ending June 29, the weekly test positivity rate was 4.95 per cent. It rose to 10.37 per cent in the week ending July 13, and this week it increased further to 15.92 per cent. This even as testing numbers rose 18 per cent, compared to 13 per cent the week before. In all, the state examined 1,01,901 samples this week, up from 86,205 the week before.
The infection growth rate, however, fell marginally — from 5.9 per cent last week to 5.18 per cent — and the consequent doubling rate of infection — calculated over seven-day average growth — slowed down from 12 days to 14 days. This despite the state adding a massive 16,231 infections to its caseload to take its case count to 58,718. The active caseload on Sunday was 19,595.
The marginal dip in the weekly growth rate could be attributed to the large caseload base of the previous week.
Bengal’s case fatality rate also decreased — attributable to an extent to the infection surge — while 260 more people died in the last seven days, taking the toll count to 1,372, a 23.38 per cent rise from last week.
Keeping with the trend, more than 75 per cent of the cases, and 90 per cent of the fatalities this week were recorded in the pandemic epicentre in south Bengal comprising Kolkata; its adjoining districts North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, and Howrah; and Hooghly.
While Kolkata and North 24 Parganas are by far the worst-hit districts in the hotspot, the situation this week also remained alarming in Howrah — infections rose 33 per cent, and 33 deaths were recorded — and Hooghly, which has 952 active cases at present, up from 655 at the end of last week.
The recovery rate in these five districts rose by almost six percentage points over the week while North Bengal, which had been a source of alarm for health authorities over the past four weeks, saw a nine percentage point increase in the discharge rate. The region’s infection growth rate also dropped from 6.77 per cent the week before to 4.62 per cent.
The improvement in the region, where a few cases of infection relapse were reported on Saturday, was led by the districts of Malda and Dakshin Dinajpur, which had been on the concern column the past few weeks.
In Malda, the recovery rate jumped to a massive 81.53 per cent on Sunday, up from 62.3 per cent at the end of last week, while the weekly average infection growth rate slowed by over four percentage points to settle at 2.81 per cent.
Dakshin Dinajpur saw a massive 37.18 percentage point upwards swing in the recovery rate, while the average weekly infection growth rate dropped 15.79 percentage points.
The recovery rate improved, and the infection surge slowed in Darjeeling district too, while Kalimpong saw only 18 new cases, and no deaths in the last seven days
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