A record 2,496 cases on Friday took West Bengal’s case count past 70,000 — it settled at 70,188 — even as the toll increased by 45 to 1,581, and the active caseload jumped to 20,233. This capped off a month that saw massive infection surge and rise in fatalities.
Over 70 per cent of the latest cases, and 41 of the fatalities were recorded in the pandemic epicentre in South Bengal comprising the five districts of Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, and Hooghly.
One of those who succumbed to the disease in Kolkata was senior doctor Tarun Kumar Banerjee, a medicine specialist. He was undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
The doctor had undergone a heart surgery around three months ago, and got admitted to the hospital after he developed high fever, and breathlessness a few days ago. His condition started deteriorating from Thursday evening, and he died around 10.20 am.
An assistant sub-inspector of Kolkata Police also died of coronavirus on Friday.
Meanwhile, in North Bengal, the situation continued to improve in Malda and Dakshin Dinajpur, which were a source of concern even a week ago. Both saw their active case counts decrease. Malda now has 328 patients, down from 490 a week ago, while Dakshin Dinajpur has 240, compared to 391 a week back. The situation, however, has not improved much in Darjeeling, which reported 122 new cases, and saw its active caseload rise to 630.
Among other districts, the infection has picked up in Bankura, which has added 307 cases in the last seven days. While its active caseload was 96 on July 24, seven days later it was up to 298.
According to the health bulletin, in which figures are updated till 9 am, the recovery rate continued to rise, and was a record 68.92 per cent on Friday. The government said 2,118 people were declared recovered, taking the cumulative number to 48,374.
The government has also stepped up testing over the past several days. On Friday, a record 19,003 tests were conducted — the second straight day that the highest number of samples have been examined. The test positivity rate was a high 7.86 per cent.
An official on Friday said at least 45 Kolkata Police personnel, including two senior officers of the Detective Department, had tested positive for Covid-19.
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