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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Active Covid cases over 30K in Bengal as recovery rate takes a hit

The state’s active caseload crossed 30,000 on Sunday and settled at 30,236 — the highest till date — while the weekly toll was 428, up from last week’s 413 fatalities.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | October 12, 2020 1:59:27 am
West Bengal coronavirus cases, Bengal coronavirus cases, Bengal covid deaths, Bengal covid death toll, India news, Indian ExpressHealth workers in PPE suits collect swab samples of police officers for Covid-19 test, at a police station in Kolkata on Tuesday. Express photo by Partha Paul.

The decline in the growth rate of Covid-19 slowed this week, and the recovery rate dropped as problems mounted for the West Bengal Department of Health this week following six straight days of record additions to the caseload.

The state’s active caseload crossed 30,000 on Sunday and settled at 30,236 — the highest till date — while the weekly toll was 428, up from last week’s 413 fatalities.

This week, the state reported 24,475 cases, registering an average weekly growth rate of 1.29 per cent while the week before it was 1.32 per cent. But worryingly, the weekly test positivity rate jumped again even though fewer tests were conducted this week too. The positivity rate declined from last week’s 7.65 per cent to 8.27 per cent. According to government data, 2.95 lakh samples were examined, down from 2.99 lakh tests the previous week (September 28-October 4). The week before that 3.08 lakh tests were conducted.

The most alarming development, however, was the hit that the recovery rate took. The weekly recovery rate declined 3.88 percentage points to 86.82 per cent, while the overall discharge rate fell on October 7 for the first time since August 9. While at the end of last week, the discharge rate was 87.93 per cent, on Sunday it was down to 87.84 per cent.

In South Bengal, the surge in cases continued in the epicentre comprising Kolkata, its three neighbouring districts, and Hooghly. However, other districts also did not fare much better, with only Murshidabad and Paschim Medinipur reporting a drop in active cases.

Both Kolkata and North 24 Parganas saw their active cases swell. While the capital now has 6,645 patients, there are 6,444 active cases in the neighbouring district to its north. North 24 Parganas recorded six fewer deaths this week at 95, while the toll in Kolkata rose from 98 to 110.

In Paschim Medinipur, where the active caseload a couple of weeks ago was 1,200, the number of patients fell below a thousand in the last seven days. On Sunday, there were 933 patients in the district. In comparison, neighbouring Purba Medinipur is worse off with 1,280 patients, over 112 more than on October 4.

The situation did not change much in Nadia as it added 905 infections to its caseload, 14 more than the week before. It has 1,100 patients now, up from 1,043 last week.

Up in North Bengal, the situation remained disquieting in Malda, where active cases jumped from 590 to 843, the highest in the region at present. The district also recorded two deaths after a rare week of no fatalities. Active cases are also high in Coochbehar (788), and Darjeeling (798).

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