August started off on a bad note for West Bengal as it reported a record 2,589 new Covid-19 cases, and the highest single-day spike in fatalities with 48 deaths. The state’s caseload increased to 72,777, while its toll rose to 1,629 even as the recovery rate neared 70 per cent.
The pandemic epicentre in South Bengal — comprising the districts of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly — recorded 41 of the deaths, and over 70 per cent of the new cases. Two deaths each occurred in Uttar Dinajpur and Purba Medinipur districts, while one each was reported from Murshidabad, Nadia, and Jalpaiguri.
Two cases were detected in Jhargram district, which had last reported an infection on July 15.
In North Bengal, the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) extended the lockdown in municipality areas in its jurisdiction by seven days. Darjeeling district has the highest active caseload, 658, outside the epicentre.
The health department data showed that the rise in recovery rate and testing numbers continued on Saturday, providing some relief to the health authorities. With the release of a record 2,143 patients — the eighth straight day of 2,000-plus recoveries — the discharge rate rose to 69.41 per cent, well above the national recovery rate of 65.4 per cent. The cumulative number of recoveries also crossed 50,000 to settle at 50,517.
According to the health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, 20,065 samples were tested in 24 hours. This was the first time more than 20,000 tests were conducted, and came over a week after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the health authorities were aiming to conduct 25,000 tests a day. The test positivity rate neared 8 per cent, settling at 7.97 per cent.
The state administration issued a new set of guidelines for treating Covid-19 patients with comorbidities, usage of repurposed drugs, and post-discharge care. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure uniformity in the treatment of patients, according to officials.
Nabanna closed till Tuesday
State secretariat Nabanna will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday as it will be thoroughly sanitised after a sub-inspector posted there tested positive. The SI was posted in the Chief Minister’s Office on the 14th floor, said an officer.
With PTI inputs
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