A record 2,436 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours took the caseload in West Bengal to 51,757 cases on Thursday. With this, West Bengal became the eighth state to cross the 50,000 mark.
More than 75 per cent of the new cases, and 31 of the 34 latest deaths were reported from the epicentre of the infection in south Bengal — Kolkata; its adjoining districts Howrah, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas; and Hooghly.
The three other deaths occurred in Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, and Birbhum. The latest deaths — it was the fourth straight day of 30-plus fatalities — took the toll to 1,255.
In North Bengal, where the situation has been alarming over the past few weeks, the most cases were reported from Darjeeling (65), Malda (56), and Uttar Dinajpur (55). In Dakshin Dinajpur, the active caseload has come down from 468 at the start of the week to 410 on Thursday despite an addition of 38 new cases.
In a worrying sign for the health authorities, the state’s daily positivity rate neared 17 per cent, jumping to 16.73 per cent, while the overall positivity rate being 6.83 per cent. At the beginning of last week the overall test positivity was 5.01 per cent, while the daily positivity rate was 13.85 per cent.
A part of the reason for the high positivity rate is increased testing. On Thursday, the health department said it had conducted a record 14,558 tests. This was the second straight day that over 14,000 samples were examined. Over the last seven days, the health authorities have conducted more than 13,000 tests a day, pushing up the cumulative number of tests to 7,58,027.
In good news, the state’s recovery rate jumped by more than one percentage point to 61.16 per cent, fuelled by the discharge of a record 2,006 patients in a day. With this, a total 31,656 people have recovered from the disease. On Thursday, West Bengal’s active case count stood at 18,846.
According to the health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 3,423 people are still in government quarantine, while 32,140 people are isolated at home. There are 878 people in safe homes.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines