The Covid-19 infection growth continued to decrease this week too, but a steady increase in the test positivity rate amid a drastic fall in testing numbers remained a concern.
While new cases flattened, with over 3,200 cases reported on an average through the week, the weekly average growth rate dropped from last week’s 1.41 per cent to 1.32 per cent. The doubling rate of infection — calculated over seven-day average growth — rose from 49.5 days to 53 days.
The weekly test positivity rate, however, jumped from 7.23 per cent to 7.65 per cent despite a fall in testing for the second straight week. In the last seven days, the health authorities conducted 2.99 lakh tests, down from 3.08 lakh tests the week before. Before this, the state had conducted over three lakh tests for four straight weeks. Compared to two weeks ago, the health authorities conducted 21,129 fewer tests this time.
Meanwhile, the recovery rate registered only marginal increases, remaining stagnant at almost 88 per cent. As a result, active cases have risen. On Sunday, the state’s active caseload was up to 27,439. It was this high last on August 17, and fell to 23,000 last month.
This rise in the number of patients was driven by South Bengal, where all the districts registered an uptick in new cases and deaths. At present, North 24 Parganas has an active caseload of 6,089, while Kolkata is second with 5,712. In the two Medinipur districts, the active caseload continued to remain over a thousand while 35 fatalities were recorded. Nadia emerged as another area of concern in the region. It recorded 891 cases and 18 deaths this week.
In the north, the situation remained alarming in Darjeeling, which had seen high recoveries a couple of weeks back. The hill district relapsed again with 652 new cases and eight deaths that pushed up its toll to 113.
However, Malda, which had seemed to have relapsed along with Darjeeling after a period of sustained recovery, provided some hope to the health authorities as no deaths were recorded in the last seven days for the first time in over three months. Some of the other districts in the region, from Alipurduar to Dakshin and Uttar Dinajpur, reported minor declines in new cases.
Meanwhile, North Bengal Development Minister Rabindranath Ghosh was admitted to a nursing home after he tested positive for Covid-19, health officials said on Sunday. His condition is said to be stable.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines