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West Bengal: Record 147 new Covid deaths reported, bodies to be in covered in white cloth

Most of the deaths were reported from North 24 Parganas (39), followed by Kolkata (33). In total, the capital and its surrounding districts reported 65 per cent of the fatalities.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
May 17, 2021 6:00:18 am
Health workers wearing PPE suit, admit a Covid patient amid the pandemic. Image used for representation. (PTI)

West Bengal on Sunday reported the highest single-day Covid-19 toll with 147 deaths that pushed up the fatality count to 13,284 while the active cases dropped marginally to 1,31,805.

Most of the deaths were reported from North 24 Parganas (39), followed by Kolkata (33). In total, the capital and its surrounding districts reported 65 per cent of the fatalities. Over the week, a staggering 957 people in the state succumbed to the respiratory disease.

With the toll climbing rapidly, the state government announced that the bodies of Covid victims would be wrapped in white cloth from now on instead of plastic. The central medical store on Sunday distributed 1,300 such cloths.

“Within a few days, the store will distribute sufficient cloths for wrapping bodies of Covid patients. Plastic was damaging electric chullis in crematoriums. Even if the dead bodies were cremated in the old ways, it created air pollution because of the plastic. So, the government decided to change the plastic cover with cloth as it is environment-friendly,” said a store officer.

Despite the high toll, the recovery rate has improved marginally compared to last week. While on May 9, the discharge rate was 86.07 per cent, it was 87.2 per cent on Sunday. In a worrying sign, the positivity rate has also increased from 9.05 per cent (on May 9) to 9.91 per cent though only 47,934 more tests were conducted compared to the week before.

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